LOUISVILLE – Every inning the Eupora Eagles can play give them more opportunities to gain experience.
With no seniors on the roster, the learning continues for head coach Cole McBride and his young Eagles.
Eupora had a starting lineup of seven sophomores, one junior and one eighth grader on Wednesday afternoon in a 7-6 loss to Caledonia in five innings during a three-team round robin tournament hosted by Louisville High School.
The Eagles split a pair of abbreviated games due to a time limit as they defeated host Louisville 8-1 in six innings.
“They play hard,” McBride said of his team. “We’ve just got to be able to clean it up.
“Louisville and Caledonia are both good teams. You can’t give them extra bases with walks and hit by pitches.”
After Eupora allowed four runs in the first inning to coach Travis Garner’s Confederates, it was able to get a run in its half of the first. Landon Davis was hit by a pitch and advanced all of the way around the bases on wild pitches.
The Eagles took a 5-4 lead in the second inning with four runs on one hit. Ty Murphy opened the frame by getting hit by a pitch, then Parker Knight had a double to put runners at second and third.
Another hit by pitch put Carter May on to load the bases and Reed Hale was struck with the third hit by pitch of the inning to drive in Murphy. May scored on a fielder’s choice to Drew Tabb and Hale stole home with the four run of the inning.
Caledonia tied the game with a run in the bottom of the third, but Eupora showed it still had the ability to get the 6-5 advantage back with a run in the fourth. Cade Adkins was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and he came all of the way around to cross home plate on a triple by Murphy.
The Confederates won the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and kept the Eagles from getting anything in the top of the fifth.
Eupora was limited to just three hits. Along with Murphy’s triple and Knight’s double, Davis had a fifth-inning single.
May, Adkins and Fletcher worked on the mound for the Eagles (4-4).
Eupora 8, Louisville 1
The Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead and went on to an easy victory over the Wildcats.
Eupora pitching threw five shutout innings as Hale started and went 5.1 innings. He gave up three hits and struck out nine.
Chris Robinson entered the game in the sixth and got the final two outs.
After the first-inning scoring, the Eagles broke the game open with five runs in the fifth. Louisville got its only run in the sixth.
Europe had four hits in the game as Murphy, Hale and Davis had one single each. Murphy, Fletcher and Jacob Collum had two RBI each.