By Christopher Tenpenny
The Archie baseball team saw its season come to an end following an 8-2 loss to Crest Ridge in the first round of the Class 2 District 14 Tournament May 12 at Lone Jack.
The Whirlwinds were able to strike first after Grady Debrick opened the game with a walk. Debrick would later come around to score, but Archie would strand the bases loaded with no further damage done.
The 1-0 lead would hold for a while as Crest Ridge hitters had a difficult time squaring up Archie starter Ashton Cowan. Then in the bottom of the fifth, Crest Ridge started to find the holes in the defense, pushing across three runs to take the lead.
“I thought we played a pretty good game for four innings before their hitting got us,” Archie head coach Brian Tenholder said. “We had a couple guys hit the ball hard but couldn’t find holes consistently. Crest Ridge was able to do that late and we found ourselves down.”
The Archie offense was unable to answer back as it could not get anything going on offense. Tenholder said he would have liked to see his team put the ball in play more often.
“One of our biggest pet peeves is watching third strikes and we did that too many times today,” Tenholder said. “You have to put the ball in play and make the defense earn it. You have to at least swing at it, can’t watch it go by.”
Crest Ridge would add to its lead in the late innings. Archie was able to score one run in the seventh before the game ended.
Tom Janssen and Cowan would both have two hits while freshman Gavin Cowan walked three times in the loss.
Ashton Cowan pitched five innings before sophomore Brock Smith relieved him in the sixth inning.
The Whirlwinds finished the year with a 6-11 record. Sixteen of the 18 players on the roster are juniors or younger as Archie featured a young team. After starting the season 1-6, Tenholder said his team showed signs of growth throughout the season.
“We played a lot of young guys with only a few players returning from last year’s team,” Tenholder said. “When you have young guys, it can be a roller coaster. Sometimes were on and sometimes were off. I think they did a good job of building up through the season and got more consistent.”
The Whirlwinds would go 5-2 in the middle of the season before dropping its final three games.