Eagle baseball is coming off of a terrific season that saw the team get to the playoffs and contend in a tough region. This year’s team hasn’t met their own expectations, even though they carry a 4-3 record, but Monday’s 11-1 region win against Hampton has them on the right path.
Nick Womack was 2-3 with four RBI, including the game-winner that scored Austin Holloway in the bottom of the fifth inning to secure the mercy-rule victory. Overall, the team played well offensively and after scoring just two runs in the previous two games the Eagles were able to re-work their mental approach at the plate and it resulted in them drawing nine walks against Hampton.
“We hadn’t been doing that. We’ve been going up there swinging at balls on the first pitch. So that’s what we talked about all day yesterday at practice. We hit some yesterday afternoon and we worked hard on just the mental approach and what you’re looking for in certain counts and that’s my fault. That’s my fault as a coach,” Bruce Evans, Eagles’ coach, said. “I felt like we were coming back off a good year and they made such great strides last year hitting that I thought, ya know, they had it. We just come walk in here and we go through and they’d hit the ball, but really I should’ve covered it a lot more, re-taught the mental approach and stuff.”
The Eagles hit the ball well and remained smart at the plate, scoring five runs on three hits in the first two innings. Eastside did allow one run in the top of the third, but outside of that Josh Sims rebounded from some early mishaps as the Eagles’ defense made excellent plays to help out their starting pitcher.
“We need to get these guys some work,” Evans said regarding Sims. “We haven’t been able to get work for Josh and Chase Raines and some of these other guys just haven’t been able to get any work because Charlie [Greenich] and Gray [Ritchey] have been throwing seven innings and giving up two hits, so these guys haven’t been able to get work.”
Evans acknowledged Hampton isn’t as good as some of the competition the Eagles’ have been playing, but he also recognized Hampton as a much improved team. Still, the Eagles are focused on themselves and their approach at the plate.
“All year we just hadn’t hit the ball. We’ve had good pitching and defense all year long, they’ve done their jobs and we just can’t score runs,” Bruce Evans, Eagles’ coach, said. “My whole coaching career I’ve said if we can score five runs we can win a game, but if we don’t score that you’re gonna have trouble in high school.”