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Eads Seeded Second Behind Holly in Upcoming District Tournament

The Eads Baseball schedule saved the best for last including two tough games with Springfield and Holly over the past week.  Both teams have virtually mowed down their competition within and out of the conference.  Eads would get a strong 5-2 win over Springfield, but fell apart midway in the game at Holly eventually losing, 11-1.  The loss handed Holly the top spot in the upcoming District 3 Tournament to be held in Las Animas this week.  Eads will have a bye in the first round, based on their runner-up finish, but will have to take on Springfield to get into the championship game on the same day.  The District 2 finals will be held in Las Animas on Friday. Trey McDowell starts Eads out with a double.  (Photo credit: Mei Lan Lening)Head Coach Chad Rouse is so far happy with his team stating, “I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made this year.  We’ve blown past all of our coaching staff’s expectations.”  And Rouse is correct as no one who knows anything about baseball gave this Eads group much deference at the beginning of the season.  They were loaded with freshmen, did not have much experience on the mound, and their numbers were very low to the point there had been some insecurity that Eads wouldn’t field a team.

But they did get the team formed, and then went on to surprise their critics by working hard and buying into Rouse’s system.  Rouse, though, gives a lot of credit to his seniors, “I think most of all we’ve had great leadership from our
seniors.”

The seniors for Eads including Trey McDowell, Zach Haase, and David Arnold have been invaluable in not only making sure their own personal games improved, but in encouraging confidence in the very young, but talented players on the team this year.  That kind of leadership just can’t go understated.

The seniors led offensively in a big way at the Eads field last Monday as their bats came through for a big win over Springfield, 5-2.  The freshman, Brigden Parker, is starting to get stronger on the mound and put in a rare complete game surrendering just two runs on four hits over the seven innings.  The Southpaw mowed down nine batters, and, key to Parker’s success, did not walk a single batter.  That’s some mighty impressive pitching against an offensive powerhouse that Springfield has proven to be.

While Parker did his job striking out the first 6-of-7 batters he faced, the Eads bats warmed up quickly and by the second inning was threatening.  McDowell started a two-run inning with a line drive double to left field.  With one out, freshman Damien Barnes drove a single to right field that scored McDowell.  The speedy Barnes arrived at third base on the throw to the plate in an effort to get McDowell.  Another freshman, Aiden Michael then arrived at second base off a single to centerfield that held Barnes up at third.  Senior Zach Haase then hit into a double play but not before Barnes scored from third.

The Eagles then added two more runs in the fourth inning.  Again, it was McDowell who started the rally with a line drive triple to right field.  Barnes then earns his second RBI of the game hitting in McDowell with a ground ball triple to right field.  Barnes would then score from third on a wild pitch.

One more insurance run was added in the next inning when TJ Conaway singled to right field.  Conaway would steal second and then take third on an error by the centerfielder during a pick-off attempt.  Freshman Brandon Lening would bring Conaway in on a round out to first base.

Against Springfield the Eads team had 7 hits including McDowell’s triple and double.  The single went 3-for-3 with a single, as well.  Barnes also had a solid day going 2-for-3 with a triple. 

On Friday the Eagles took their solid conference win to Holly where they held even for three innings with the loaded powerhouse Wildcats.  Freshman Brigden Parker toed the rubber for Eads an was introduced to high-octane baseball when Holly’s Jose Magallanes hit one out of the park in the first inning on a solo homer.  Other than that one pitch, the lefty freshman did a solid job against a strong Wildcat offense. 

Eads would tie the game in the top of the second inning when Parker helped himself with a double on the first pitch of his at-bat.  That double brought in McDowell who had arrived on an error by the right fielder.   The score stayed tied, 1-1, until the bottom of the third.

That’s when Holly pulled away for good.  Brandon Wilson singled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run, Ricky Tomayo singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run, Michael Rushton singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring two runs, an error scored on run for Holly, and Magallanes homered on a 2-2 count, scoring three runs.

Parker was tagged with the loss allowing ten runs on seven hits and striking out three.  Freshman Hatch Nelson threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Wilson went four innings for Holly, allowing one run on three hits, striking out 12 and walking zero.
Damien Barnes had two RBIs in the Springfield game.  (Photo credit: Mei Lan Lening)
McDowell, Joe Haase, Parker, and Zach Haase all had one hit to lead Eads.

Based on the state’s RPI standings, District 3 will more than likely have no one except the district champion advance to the state playoffs.  Some of the RPI issues came for District 3 when Holly had to take two forfeits for violations on the strict pitching rules.  On Friday, Holly will take on the winner of a Tuesday afternoon first round playoff between Granada (#4) and Cheyenne Wells (#5).  In the District finals in Las Animas on Friday Eads (#2) plays Springfield (#3) at 10:00 am.  The winners of these games will play for the championship with a more-than-likely must win scenario.

Photo Credit Mei Lan Lening
 
 
 
 
 
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