Coach of 14U Pratt-area baseball team couldn't be happier with attitudes and effort from summer season.
The 14U Huskers baseball team did it again, placing second at NBC State, their last tournament of the season. They went 5-1 at the tournament in Hays, competing against teams from Hays, Salina, Garden City, Derby, and Wichita.
There were a total of 54 teams in the tournament and only 24 made it to bracket play. After winning two games in a row on Saturday and making it to bracket play, the boys decided to fall into baseball superstition and wear their dirty uniforms the next day. A decision that, although may have gotten them second place, wasn’t appreciated by the parents or coaches
From there, the Huskers won in a walk off in the quarter finals. They went on to play the four-time state champs, the Wichita Falcons in the semifinals. The Falcons previously beat out the Huskers in 12U state and the boys have wanted revenge ever since, and they finally got it last weekend.
“By the time we got to the finals we were done, we were on fumes in that game. After an emotional game we had nothing left,” said head coach Larry Eisenhower.
Even though they weren’t able to win that last game, Eisenhower still appreciates the way his team works together and the way they embody the WE > ME that they wear on their backs.
“Everybody from 1-11 hit, everybody contributed in some form, whether it was pitching, in field, or at the plate. At the end of the day they controlled their attitude and their effort which is all we ask.”
Although they were sick of being second after earning the title three weeks in a row, the team had a solid season, especially in those last couple weeks. After all the rain outs at the beginning of the season, they weren’t sure if they would be able to get in 40 games this summer, but after competing in 22 games in their last 17 days of play, they easily made it there.
They ended the season with a record of 33-13-1, a .717 winning percentage. Throughout the summer, they played teams from 9 other states throughout the season, giving them the opportunity to see some new competition.
“It was a great season, I can’t complain. Our kids played with grit, they played tough, they played hard,” said Eiesenhower, “The thing that makes me the proudest, it has nothing to do with our record. We get compliments all the time from coaches, even teams we beat pretty bad, umpires, and administration that we have a very respectful team. A lot of teams that are solid and compete have attitudes and we don’t have a lot of those.”