By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
Sometimes it takes a loss to figure out what can get better. The White Pine High baseball team fell in back-to-back games at Incline over the weekend, but according to coach Quinn Ewell, the games served as a learning experience for the players.
“Our pitchers learned that if they are going to miss a spot, they need to miss low,” Ewell said. “When our guys did miss, they missed high and put it right over the plate and the other team crushed the ball on us.”
The Incline Highlanders won by the 10-run mercy rule in the first game 13-3, and 16-9 in the second game. Despite losing both games, Ewell said his team had nothing to hang their heads about and in fact was happy with the way the team was progressing.
“They were just a good ball club. We can see progress,” Ewell said. “Our hitting is coming along, we just have to fine tune our pitching and our defense.”
One of the main things Ewell saw on the defense was that his players are still a bit timid on fast ground balls. Up until then, Ewell and his assistant coaches had been working on each player’s mechanics, but the focus in practice has shifted to getting players confident in game speed scenarios.
“We are definitely going to be hitting some fast ground balls at them today,” Ewell said in practice on Monday.
Assistant coach Nick Lopez said it was just a mental hurdle the young players are going to have to get over to move forward. One of the things that helps the players, he said, was a good cheering section that make them believe in themselves.
“I was impressed with how many parents made the six or seven hour trip out to Incline,” Lopez said. “We almost had more fans than they did. That is a big help.”
Both Ewell and Lopez said they hope the home crowd shows up to support the team in their first home games of the season, a double header against North Tahoe on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.