Springwood baseball upsets No. 3 Macon-East 3-2

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

LANETT — The Springwood baseball team (3-14, 0-4) gained an upset 3-2 victory over AISA No. 3 Macon-East on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s big for us and these kids,” Springwood head baseball coach David Strickland said. “We’ve had a tough schedule this year.

AISA No. 4 Lee-Scott Academy,  No. 8 Lakeside Academy and No. 5 Hooper Academy are some of the other ranked teams that Springwood has faced in the past few weeks.

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“We’ve probably been playing five good innings of baseball [for most of the season], then we let one or two innings hit us in the mouth,” Strickland said. “Tonight, they finally found a way to play a solid seven innings, and I told them that when we play seven solid innings of baseball, we’ll come out with a win. That’s what they did tonight.”

Junior pitcher Cameron Hopkin threw a complete game on the mound for the Wildcats. Hopkin and sophomore Trevin Williams also led the team with two hits on the day, with Hopkin tallying up an RBI in the matchup. Hopkin only walked one batter in the affair. Freshman Ethan Plank also hit an RBI double in the victory, Strickland said.

With four games remaining in the regular season, Springwood is wrapping up a rebuilding year on the diamond. The team will only graduate two seniors, Dylan Anderson and Tillman Waters while being led by first-year head coach Strickland.

“The biggest thing that [I’ve learned] is that every one of these players are different,” Strickland said. “You have to coach each kid in a different way. Some of these kids had to learn some of the basics of the game. Like when and where to bunt with a runner on first or third. That’s been a learning curve for me. Going back and teaching some of these kids the little things like that, but high school kids do a good job with learning and coming out every day trying to do the best job they can to satisfy the coach.”

Facing a multitude of ranked teams this season has hopefully taught the young group of Wildcats a valuable lesson, Strickland said.

“I think the biggest thing is not necessarily worrying about the other teams we play, but just worry about ourselves,” he said. “Coming out tonight on top in a game like that proves to our kids that we can play with these top teams. We’ve seen these top teams all year. It shows to them that if we can play seven innings of baseball, we can come out on top of these big games against these big teams.”

Springwood returns to action on April 9 against Glenwood.