BHS baseball splits back-to-back doubleheaders
For less than 24 hours, Brock Hartshorn had the Baldwin High School baseball team at a .500 winning percentage.
Then the rival Eudora Cardinals came to town and swept the Bulldogs Tuesday. However, the Bulldogs (7-9) are .500 in the Frontier League with a 5-5 record in league action.
"We've had four games in two days," said Hartshorn, BHS baseball coach. "We played really well last night and then tonight, we didn't play quite so well.
"We are .500 in the league right now and I am pleased," he said. "I think that will put us about fourth in the league."
On Tuesday, Eudora (7-5) beat Baldwin handily, 11-1 and 10-2. It was the first time BHS had been swept by a league opponent since the season opener against De Soto.
"We thought we had a good chance tonight with our number one and two pitchers out there," Hartshorn said. "That's a good hitting, poised team with a lot of seniors on it. They just got to us tonight and that happens in baseball."
In the first game, the Cardinals scored five runs in the first inning. Baldwin's offense never got started Tuesday, but Eudora continued to add runs throughout the game until it run-ruled BHS.
The second game was very similar, but both teams were tied 1-1 after the first inning. Eudora took a 3-1 lead in the third inning on a two-run home run and never looked back.
"They did jump on us 5-0 and we never really recovered," Hartshorn said. "They just kept adding to that lead and we never really got in it. We had a couple of chances to get things going in the second game but never really got things going tonight."
The results on Monday were vastly different for the Bulldogs when they hosted the former Frontier League opponent, Wellsville. They swept the Eagles, winning 17-6 and 4-2.
"It was good to come out and get a couple wins on Monday," freshman Justin Vander Tuig said. "We got our record up to .500, 7-7, with those wins."
The first contest was tied 4-4 until Baldwin exploded for a 13-run fourth inning. BHS strung together hit after hit and nearly went through the line up twice in the inning as it opened up an insurmountable lead.
Wellsville rallied to score two runs in top of the fifth inning, but it wouldn't be enough as BHS run-ruled the Eagles.
"I don't know, I guess our bats were just alive," Vander Tuig said. "We were ready to hit. We've been hitting in the cage a lot, trying to get our bats going and I guess it worked out for us."
He added that his offense came alive during the game also.
"I've been in a slump, but I came out of it during the Wellsville games," Vander Tuig said. "I am at least making contact now, so that feels a lot better."
After the blow out, both teams battled in a pitchers' dual. Baldwin again broke the tie, but this time on Wellsville miscues. In the end, Baldwin hung on to get the sweep.
"We had 17 hits in the first game and just really went after a team," Hartshorn said. "In the next game, we played tough defense and Jon Eddy pitched a great six innings. We got a break when they fell asleep on a fly ball to the short stop and Aaron Karlin tagged and stole home. That kind of rattled them and they made an error on the next play to put us up 3-2. We played well against Wellsville."
With five freshmen playing on the varsity team, the Bulldogs' expectations on the season weren't overly high. As the season has progressed, the players are beginning to think more positively about the direction of the program.
"Our season is going well," Vander Tuig said. "We have quite a few young players, so we are not always mentally prepared for every game. That's why we have let downs sometimes. But we've had nice weather to play in recently."
Hartshorn is also happy with the season, but wishes the weather would cooperate more often.
"We are coming along as a team," Hartshorn said. "We still have a lot to work on. With the way the weather has been, we are either in the gym or playing a game. So we haven't been able to work on a lot of situational baseball."
Baldwin has a pair of doubleheaders left before the Class 4A regional tournament starts. BHS will head to Spring Hill on Friday and then to Gardner on Tuesday. Both doubleheaders begin at 4:30 p.m.
"One thing I told them is that we've bounced back from every set back this year," Hartshorn said. "A trend with this team is to forget they have lost the previous game and come right back and play well the next game. Maybe it has to do with their youth."