Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cards play game the right way

July 9, 2009

Hustle is one characteristic that is generally found in the makeup of a quality baseball team.

Those who have seen the Eudora Cardinals baseball teams this spring and now in the summer have seen the team hustle on a regular basis.

Most every high school team plays hard and hustles, especially those teams in the tough Frontier League. But during the spring and now again during summer ball, Eudora hustles not only when it’s on the field between the foul lines but also in foul ground and outside the fences.

Attend any Eudora baseball game and one of the first things you will notice is that on any foul ball – whether it is hit down the left field line, behind the catcher or outside the ballpark – a Eudora player is on a mad dash to get the baseball.

“We take pride in hustling everywhere we go and doing things the right way,” Eudora baseball coach Shaun Edmondson said. “And we have a great group of kids who do that.”

Several times during the spring and summer a Eudora player has gotten to the ball before the opposing catcher has, even though the ball was just a few feet behind the catcher’s back.

The bewildered looks from the catcher at the sight of the Eudora player tossing him or the umpire the ball back is noticed by all.

This sort of thing usually doesn’t sit well with the opponents. After a few innings of seeing Eudora players sprint from the dugout, several times dating back to the spring the opposing team has laughed, made fun of and taunted Eudora from the dugout.

During one spring Frontier League game at Eudora, a foul ball was hit out of play a good 20 yards behind the visitor’s first base dugout.

With the ball far closer to their dugout than Eudora’s, a few visiting players took a little extra time to go chase after the baseball.

Eudora’s Chase Brecheisen didn’t waste any time. As soon as the ball was hit he was sprinting out the dugout and the third base gate and running towards the shed behind first base.

From my vantage point, I couldn’t see who came up with the ball first or how. But a few minutes later, Brecheisen returned to the dugout with the baseball. And a cut above his eye.

At the end of each half inning, Eudora players are also on a sprint back to the dugout or onto the field. Some players, such as sophomore-to-be David Pierce are running to first even after a walk. Pierce perhaps said what hustle means to him and the game of baseball.

“That’s the way the game is supposed to be played,” he said.

And the Eudora Cardinals play that way.

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