Cards make strides toward state success
Someday the Eudora Cardinals will win a high school state baseball title. Someday the Eudora Cardinals will win the AA Legion title. It just wasn’t their time this year.
Baseball is a funny sport. Strange things happen regularly on the field and sometimes off and both of those occurrences helped derail Eudora’s state title hopes last week in Sabetha.
After Eudora defeated Silver Lake and Bishop-Ward who are two of the better baseball teams in the state at the zone tournament, the Cardinals were flying high. Eudora entered the tournament as the No. 3-seed and emerged as the only team to not lose a game in the double elimination tournament.
But then things got a little out of sorts for Eudora. Head coach Shaun Edmondson, who is Eudora’s leader on the baseball field, was called in for jury duty and missed both games of the state tournament.
“Obviously not being at the state tournament was extremely difficult for me,” Edmondson said. “And I’m sure the boys were a little out of sorts with me not being there, but we have two really good assistant coaches there who were able to run the show. We just ran into two really good baseball teams.”
Assistant coach Paul Houle coached the team in Edmondson’s absence and did a fine job. Houle was head coach last year and the team went to the state tournament. The Cardinals went 1-2 at state last year, and 0-2 this year after dropping two tough games. The first a 3-2 nail-bitter to Doniphan County in the opening round and an 8-4 loss to Pratt to end the season.
Ottawa went on to win the state title and finished with an undefeated record. But had Eudora not made a couple mistakes against Doniphan County, Eudora would have met Ottawa in the second round.
Eudora played Ottawa twice this summer and twice back in the spring. Ottawa went 4-0 against Eudora this year, but two of those games this spring were close, nine-inning losses for the Cardinals. And Eudora lost 4-1 to the Cyclones this summer in a game that could have been a win for the Cardinals had they gotten just one break.
But that is baseball and life. Some teams and people seem to have all the luck while others don’t.
Eudora didn’t have much luck this spring or summer, but still had two great seasons that ultimately fell a little short of a championship. But that day is coming soon.
“You want to make progress every year,” Edmondson said. “The state tournament appearance was neat the first year, and again it was a thrill to win the zone tournament the way we won it this year, but not winning the state championship leaves a little bit of a sour taste in your mouth. And I think more than anything it will motivate us.”