The Emporia State baseball team went 1-1 in a double-header Sunday in a series against Missouri Western University.
ESU lost the first game 9-2 and won the second game 9-5.
“The first game was not a good game and we had to get over it and move on and I thought we did a good job in the second game of doing that,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli.
According to Fornelli, strong and cold wind played a large factor in both teams’ performances.
“We had to get them to hit the ball to the right field and stay on top of it,” Fornelli said. “That is what they did a good job of in the first game by hitting it over the right field wall and we kept flying out or striking out.”
Senior outfielder Conner Crumbliss said the wind affected the team because of the way they hit.
“It usually blows out to the left and we usually take advantage of it when it does because it is a lot easier to hit,” Crumbliss said. “But when it blows out right it is hard because we have a lot of right handed hitters.”
According to junior outfielder Jeremy Francis, the weather conditions made it hard for both teams to make plays in the outfield.
“It is not an excuse but it was the wind,” Francis said. “The wind is hard to judge when the ball is in the air but they played in the same conditions we did and they made the catches.”
Playing in bad weather was also mentally demanding.
“No one really wanted to physically be here but at the same time you have to show up,” Francis said. “Of course this would be a different game if we had good weather but at same time you have to face that and play through it.”
In the second game, Francis hit a drive to right field which allowed all three runners to score and put the Hornets in the lead at the bottom of the 5th inning.
“It was a weird swing,” Francis said. “I check swung and it just went of the bat and the ball hoped over his glove and coach kept swinging me so I just took off as fast as I could.”
Crumbliss said the run created a momentum change for the Hornets.
“That was huge because we finally got the lead,” Crumbliss said. “We had been getting beat all day and it was nice to finally get ahead.”
The Hornets would maintain the lead for the rest of the game, holding the Griffons to five runs.
“Coach got onto us between games to try and get the ball on the ground a little better,” Crumbliss said. “Because we were hitting a lot of fly balls so we just had to focus more. We just have to show up and play hard. If we play hard we should not lose to anybody.”
The Hornets will play NWMU today in another double-header to finish the series.
“We have a huge week,” Fornelli said. “In the next six days we have eight more games. We have got to continue to play hard, continue to do the little things and continue to find a way to win.”
Both teams will continue play tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Glennen Field in Emporia, Kan.
Doug Irby/The Bulletin