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Eminence Warriors still hunting for first win

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By Tommie Kendall

Sports editor

After playing eight games this season, the Eminence baseball team is still searching for its first win.

The Warriors, who are coming off a 1-17 record and have underclassmen and middle schoolers filling key roles, lost to Spencer County, 19-2, April 23, Carroll County 13-0 on April 29, and Anderson County 25-0 on April 30, 

Against Spencer, the Warriors finished with seven hits but only managed two runs, while allowing Spencer 17 runs off eight hits. The Warriors left eight runners on base, which contributed to the lop-sided loss after six innings due to the mercy-run rule.

“Our hitting was okay but we didn’t play well defensively,” second-year head coach Mark Payton said. “I thought we started out decent, but after the first inning we didn’t show too well.”

The Warriors did have an early advantage with two runs scored during the top of the first inning. Ed Berry drew a walk and Michael Snell hit the ball over the fence for a two-run homer that were Eminence’s only runs during the contest. It was Snell’s first homer of the season.

Spencer then went in front in the bottom of the second and stretched its lead for the rest of the game. The Warriors used three pitchers — Berry, Jordan Fairchild and Snell — and gave up 15 walks. The Warriors also had five errors, which was above their average of 1.5 per game.

Offensively, Eminence had the hits but none of them — besides Snell’s homer — were timely.

“I’ve been disappointed with our practices,” Payton said. “Wednesday (April 22) we had just eight players show up. We need to get more consistent practice from our players.”

For disciplinary reasons for some of his players and as an award for others, Payton decided to juggle his lineup against Spencer. He continued to start eighth graders Bradley Foree and Brandon Mitchell, but added eighth grader Jesus Ramos and seventh graders Hayden Hoofman and Corey Roberts into the lineup.

“We started them at Spencer to get the point across and I think it was taken,” Payton said.

The Spencer outing was also a 30th District game, which meant it counted towards the district seeding for postseason. Eminence is in a tough situation because all three district opponents — Spencer, Shelby County and Anderson County — are tied for first place with the tie-breaker being runs scored and runs allowed against district teams. Shelby scored 20 runs against Eminence earlier in the season, Spencer scored 19 and Anderson scored 25 in the decider on April 30. Anderson, a team that defeated Eminence 58-0 last spring, needed to score more than 20 runs to grab the top seed and play Eminence again in the first round of the district tournament next month.

“That leaves us in a bad position,” Payton said. “We just have to take it one game at a time and try our best. We know they (district teams) are going to try to put up a lot of runs on us.”

E-mail us about this story at editor@hclocal.com.

Payton could not be reached for comment about last week›s games