Breaking even

After a sudden change of plans, during which the first baseball game was moved up three days, the Spartan baseball team struggled, falling 4-1 to Parkway Central. The Spartans struggled fielding, committing three errors, while Parkway Central committed none.

Parkway scored two runs in three innings, leading the Spartans 2-1 going into the sixth inning. Then, the Colts tacked on two more runs, and increasing their lead to three.

The Spartans only garnered four hits, by seniors Gabe Faron and Austin Pierce, and by juniors Mitch Miller and Troy Newell. Senior Blake Wellinghoff believes the sudden change of game time and poor weather during practice affected their performance.

“Mostly it’s because we haven’t been on the field and just haven’t gotten the reps outside,” Wellinghoff said.

Wellinghoff also believed that the lack of total hits from the team attributed to the loss.

“We had trouble putting the ball in play, and we have just been in the gym the last couple of weeks, which is completely different from real game speed,” Wellinghoff said.

With a slow start to the season, Wellinghoff says the team is going to focus more on making contact with the ball and improving on bunting and usage of the hit and run strategy.

Despite the struggles the team had on Friday, there were some bright spots. According to Wellinghoff, the pitching held their own despite allowing four runs.

“Clayton did a good job of keeping the hitters off balance and hitting his spots,” Wellinghoff said.

Despite the loss to Central, the Spartans remained confident, and only four days later, their fortunes would change.

On Tuesday, the Spartans faced off against the Parkway West and this time, the Spartans came out on top, defeating West 3-0. Junior Troy Newell, who made his first career varsity start, earned the win, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out four batters. Junior Cody Calhoun and senior Tanner Emring also pitched scoreless innings in relief for Newell. Despite committing two errors in the game, the Spartans were able to capitalize off of poor pitching by the Longhorns and garnered three runs on six hits.

Junior Mitch Miller had a strong outing, stealing a base in addition to his hit and run scored. Seniors Austin Pierce, Gabe Faron, Ryan Howard, along with junior Heriberto Wyatt, each garnered a hit, and Howard had two hits.

The Spartans started off strong, scoring a run in the first, followed by two more in the third and fourth innings.

The win evens out the Spartans record at 1-1 as they continue their string of games against Parkway schools, facing Parkway North this Friday at 4:15 p.m.