BHS baseball rallies back to split doubleheader
GARDNER -- After being run-ruled in five innings, the Baldwin High School baseball team bounced back to split its doubleheader here Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs (9-4) lost to the Trailblazers 12-2 in five innings, before beating them 6-5.
"That's always the plan: sweep at home and split on the road," coach Joe Serna said. "I am pretty excited, especially against the caliber of team that Gardner is."
Baldwin began the first game slowly and trailed 4-0 after the first two innings. Gardner added six runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth.
With their backs against the wall in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs were unable to score any runs, ending the game.
"We came out flat," Serna said. "Gardner will get you on any day, if you let them. They (Gardner) came out, executed and played their baseball game. We just let it get away from us."
Senior Cory Wright agreed with Serna.
"We came out flat, didn't play hard and got beat," Wright said.
After some much needed advice from Serna, the Bulldogs started the second game much better.
"There was a lot of screaming and motivational pep talks," Serna said. "I told them to have a lot of heart and dig down deep. I told them to execute the game plan and stick with what we are doing."
Baldwin led 2-0 in the third inning, when BHS pitcher Nick Papps had to leave the game.
"It was a back spasm," Papps said. "I threw a curveball and didn't get on top of it, so that's probably what happened. I was thinking 'why did this happen,' but I should have stretched a bit more before the game."
Serna said Papps' injury was unfortunate, but he had to pull him.
"I am not going to take a chance if a kid feels a little tweak," Serna said. "We will get them out of the game and let Gary get him back healthy."
Senior Ryan Jorgensen moved from first base to pitch. Jorgensen allowed one run in the third inning, but Papps was happy with his performance.
"RJ (Jorgensen) came out and pulled us through the last few innings," Papps said. "I thought our team pulled together and scored a few runs that were needed. Overall, we did a great job."
The Bulldogs gave up four runs in the fourth inning to trail 5-2. Then the Bulldogs put together their rally inning.
With the bases loaded, Wright hit a two-run double that drove in junior Adam Deere and senior Rusty Flory. Jorgensen moved to third on the hit.
A pitch then hit senior Troy Gilges. Then fellow senior Alex Johnson hit a single that scored Jorgensen and moved up Wright and Gilges. A wild throw to first base scored Wright and gave Baldwin a 6-5 lead.
"That was huge," Serna said of the inning. "That was the one thing during the day that told them we were in this game. We see what happens when we do what's asked and we can play with anybody."
Neither team scored a run in the final two-and-a-half innings, as Baldwin claimed victory.
"It felt really good, because it was a big win that we needed," Wright said. "We really dug in and got it done."
Serna said several players stepped up in the second game.
"I tip my hat to the players that played the second game," Serna said. "Adam Deere stepped up huge. He hasn't gotten a lot of playing time this year, but he has done what's been asked of him all year long when called upon. I tip my hat to Adam (Deere). Alex Johnson and Nick Papps also played well. I tip my hat to RJ (Jorgensen) for coming in there and pitching."
He also said the line up changed drastically in the second outing.
"We juggled the line up a lot during the second game," Serna said. "I want them to know no position is set in stone. When you are called upon to play a certain position, you go out and play it to the best of your ability."
The Bulldogs now begin a stretch of six games in the next eight days. They will play host to Eudora today and Central Heights on Friday. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m.
"We've got Eudora on Thursday," Serna said Tuesday. "They have had this one circled on their calendar all year long. We've got them at home with our No. 1 pitcher throwing. This win against Gardner will give us big momentum heading into Thursday."