It was just a year ago when there was a 50-50 chance that Eads might not be able to field a team due to low numbers. But what a difference a year makes as this year’s Eads Baseball team sports 19 strong, although they are still extremely young with just one senior on the team.
Coach Chad Rouse, who took the reins last year and did an outstanding job of whipping a young and inexperienced team into shape by the end of the very short season, is optimistic about this year’s team.
“We’re still very young, but we have some experienced players and a lot of good athletes. It’s just going to be a matter of time whether we can come together as a cohesive unit. We look good, although we don’t have a dominant pitcher this year. We’ll be doing a lot of the mound duty via delegation.”
Rouse went on to explain that he’s excited to have five players come over from Kit Carson including the only senior on the team, TJ Conaway; as well as junior Jayden McCombs-Farmer, sophomore Sullivan Farmer, junior David Arnold, and junior Cordell Farmer. According to Rouse, “The Kit Carson boys have been a nice addition to the team as they make everyone more competitive.”
Rouse also has the services of Plainview junior Alex Schmidt who may be able to do a little throwing for Eads from the mound right away. “He’s probably our ace at this point in the season,” added Rouse.
Another player, who is no stranger to the Eads fields having grown up playing summer ball, sophomore Zach Fowler is back on the team after being sidelined last spring with an injury. Fowler will mostly catch but will also be a key pitcher in the rotation.
Returners include sophomores Damien Barnes, Brandon Lening, Hatch Nelson, Joe Haase, and Amber Kopasz. The returning junior is Cynthia Watson. Another junior new to the team is Brison Watne.
The rest are freshmen who will take on key roles already this year and include Donte Sierra, Ross Brown, Ty Wilson, Chase Stolzenberger, and Cade McDowell.
There are a number of new teams that have dropped into the 1A ranks this year which resulted in a large number of teams added to District 3. This year, District 3 includes Eads, Cheyenne Wells, Granada, Genoa-Hugo, Idalia, Otis, Springfield, and Stratton-Liberty. According to Rouse, “The RPI is still in effect as well so it’s going to be a difficult ride. The season is just so fast. But we are definitely getting better, and I think we can compete in this district.”
In the season opener on March 18th the Eads boys fell behind early and couldn’t come back losing to Springfield 10-1. Springfield scored on a grand slam by Tyson Campbell in the first inning. Alec Tate and Beau Dukes also scored on a single and a double.
Fowler took the loss on the mound allowing five hits and six runs over three innings. In his first time on the high school mound, the sophomore struck out seven Longhorns.
McDowell, Nelson, Haase, Sullivan Farmer and Fowler all got hits in the game. McDowell would score Eads’ lone run.
Eads bounced back against 2A Crowley County on Thursday defeating the Chargers 6-5. The game was tied at four with Eads batting in the bottom of the fifth when McDowell grounded out but scored two runs.
The Chargers took the lead right away in the first inning as Adam Schulz singled and eventually scored.
It took the Eads group a bit, but they evened things up in the bottom of the fourth inning when Arnold singled on a 1-0 count scoring a run. Eads would go on and notch three more runs in that inning from RBI singles by Sullivan Farmer, Haase, and Arnold.
Conaway had the start for Eads and did a nice job of keeping the Chargers off balance. He allowed six hits and four runs over two innings, striking out three and walking one.
The Eads schedule continues to heat up as the Eagles will host a strong 2A Holly team on Tuesday and then welcomes league foe, Granada on Friday starting at 3:00 pm.
Photo Credit Wilson Photography