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Eastern Greene baseball showing improvement; money goes to RileyPosted Friday, April 15, 2011, at 6:26 PM
Even before Eastern Greene defeated North Knox 10-2 Thursday for its first win of the season, Thunderbird coach Trevor McConnell said it was time for them to pick it up.
"There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves," McConnell said after a 10-8 loss to Owen Valley Wednesday, dropping their record to 0-4. "We have to come to the yard every day and see where the chips fall.
"If we can get hot at the right time, there is enough talent to win games. Talent is not a problem. We just have to find a way to compete for seven innings and play complete games."
Despite losing four straight to begin the 2011 campaign, McConnell says his troops can't afford to get down.
"Just because things haven't gone our way to start the season, doesn't mean it is time to throw in the towel," said McConnell. "We have to stay hungry and continue to believe in ourselves.
"The kids really battled and scratched and clawed against Owen Valley. We never quit, despite getting down 10-5. We got three in the seventh, but couldn't close it out. I still see good things down the road for this team."
McConnell said his pitching depth is thin, but that he has gotten two consecutive good outings.
Against Owen Valley, Zak Eckerle pitched five innings, allowing two hits and four earned runs. He fanned five and walked four.
In the victory over North Knox, Jake Johnson threw a complete game to earn a win in his first varsity start.
"I was really proud of Zak. It was his second outing of the year," McConnell said of Eckerle. "His first outing was against Bedford North Lawrence, which was tough. It was good to see him bounce back on a positive note. He really kept us in the game. Owen Valley had a few more timely hits than we did.
"You can't question their effort. Bedford just had more talent than we did. We were overconfident against South Knox and did not show up to compete. We are cutting down on our errors and walks, two stats that will kill you."
Johnson scattered five hits over seven innings as he earned the complete-game victory over North Knox. He struck out three, walked four and both of the runs he yielded were earned.
"We really needed a performance on the mound like this," said McConnell. "I was really proud of the way the guys stuck together.
"We were aggressive and made a lot of things happen. That is something we haven't been doing."
McConnell said he has just been waiting for his Thunderbirds to have a break out game.
"This group keeps working at it," he said. "Talent is not the issue.
"They just have to believe they can go out and get it done every night."
Former Bloomfield athletic director Jason Skomp just wanted to remind everyone that his son is healthy. In a column Friday about a three-on-three basketball tournament that is taking place to raise money through Bloomfield Schools for Riley Children's Hospital, it was implied that his son was still ill.
Skomp also wanted to make sure to note that all of the money raised from this event was going to Riley and not to any local individuals, including his son.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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