Eagles stumble in sectional

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Purdy's Sydney Birge throws a pitch during the Eagles' sectional game against Marionville on Monday. Jared Lankford sports@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy loses only one senior from district title team

A 10-0 sectional loss to Marionville was not the way the Purdy baseball team wanted to end the season.

However, a wound that opened in the first inning to the tune of a 3-0 Marionville lead, never stopped bleeding until a four-run fifth initiated the mercy rule on Monday.

"It wasn't our day," said Joshua Hughes, Purdy coach. "Give them credit. They put the ball in play and were rewarded for their efforts. Marionville had four or five hits that were flares or dribblers, but they just found the right spot in our defense."

Hughes and Jason Webb, assistant coach, spent several minutes after the game talking to their young team that returns every player but one -- Robby Moody, who graduated this year.

"I told our guys we have to get better in all three phases of the game," Hughes said. "We only had two hits today. One area of big focus will be getting stronger at the plate. We hit a couple of other balls hard, but right at their defenders."

The Eagles sent Sydney Birge to the mound against the Comets. Birge, a left-handed finesse pitcher, kept Marionville hitters at bay the first time they played this season, but the Comets adjusted and tapped the junior for three runs in the first.

"That wasn't all on Sydney," Hughes said. "We had some mental errors in the field where we hesitated on bunts on where to throw the ball. When your offense can't pick you up, it is always a long day."

Despite the sectional loss, the Eagles are exiting the 2014-2015 campaign with the Ozark 7 Conference title and a district title.

Getting the young roster of players more innings of playing time this summer and next fall is one of many solutions that Hughes had for his players.

"We have six guys that have summer league that began on Tuesday," he said. "The only way to get them more experience is to have them play more."

Hughes also thanked Moody for his four years of service to the Eagles.

"Robby was a guy who stepped into his role when we needed him to be big," he said. "He chewed up several innings for us this season, and we will have to replace that next season. We will miss him dearly."

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