The Eminence baseball team is still searching for its first win of the season, but things are definitely looking brighter for the squad that took a state-record 58-0 beating from Anderson County two weeks ago.
With a majority of its players back in the rotation - which added to the Anderson debacle - plus the addition of newcomers Nelson Hedges and Ed Berry, Eminence is showing signs of a team that could turn the tables on its 0-9 start.
After the Warriors host Evangel Christian Wednesday and travel to Louisville Collegiate Thursday, they hope to get their first check in the win column.
"We played well last week, and we are looking much better," Eminence coach Mark Payton said. "Our pitching is much better now that Hedges and Berry is on the team and our defense is there, we're just having a hard time hitting right now."
In a three-day stretch of playing three straight home games last week, Eminence came up empty handed each time out. The Warriors lost to Williamstown (12-0) last Tuesday, Atherton (8-4) Wednesday and Spencer County (12-0) Thursday, but looked much better against the tough competition than they did in previous weeks.
In a team meeting following the Anderson blowout, Hedges and Berry decided to join the struggling team, and were officially on the squad after the players anonymously voted to let them join mid-season. They might not be the saviors to the squad, but they can add a needed boost.
Hedges and Berry are additions to the pitching rotation, while Hedges plays shortstop and Berry right field. Both also bat at the top of the lineup.
"They help out our pitching a lot, which is what we really need," Payton said of the duo. "It looks promising. They can throw strikes, and thats what we need."
Berry had not pitched since the fourth grade while Hedges pitched some for the Warriors last season.
Offensively, in Berry's first plate appearance last week, he struck out, but then returned in his next at bat to smack a double. So far, he's batting 2 of 4 through two games, which has given Eminence a needed bat in the lineup.
The Warriors also picked up their play last week because of a full roster, which was depleted the week before due to grades. If Eminence wants its first win of the season, Payton knows, it needs its best lineup on the field - which includes Coletin Raper at first base, Shawn Hamlin at second base, Hedges at shortstop, Jacobi Moore at third base, Ryan Paris at catcher, Jordan Fairchild at left field, Zach Raisor at center field and Berry at right field. The Warriors also need the pitching of Michael Snell, who has moved into the top spot as a junior this season.
"Now that we have everybody back, we're looking better," Payton said. "We definitely think we can win a game this week."
E-mail us about this story at email@example.com.