By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
The White Pine High School baseball team suffered another two home losses over the weekend to Battle Mountain. In both their 11-0 and 18-1 defeats, the game were ended in the fifth inning due to the “ten run rule.”
It’s become a disturbing trend for Bobcat’s coach Quinn Ewell, who has noticed his young team tends to lose their focus after the third inning.
“Each game we start off hot and we come out swinging, but we seem to lose that by the fourth inning,” Ewell said.
According to the coach, both games were within reach up until the team reached the fourth inning, where they were outscored 21-0 between the two games. While the solution isn’t simple, with Ewell pointing out that the team is still very young and relatively inexperienced, that things can be turned around if they could improve on offense.
“We need to make more contact at the plate. When you put the bat on the ball, good things happen,” Ewell said.
Doing so would generate some confidence in the team, something that Ewell fears they have lost over their nine-game losing streak.
“They just need to have the confidence that they can beat any team out there, on any given day,” he said. “They aren’t playing a full game with the attitude that they can beat the other team. We played that way up until the fourth inning on Friday then we lost it.”
As a team, confidence and hitting can be like a snowball effect, Ewell said. When confidence rises, so to will hitting, or vice versa. But it is a problem that he and his coaching staff have been battling for weeks.
He admitted that the relative inexperience of his athletes means that he often has to play “catch up” during practices, but that he is trying to overcome that by getting the players as many “cuts” at the plate as he can.
“We are getting them their cuts and trying to give them live game scenarios,” Ewell said of his teams’ recent practice routine. “You won’t win games without hitting the ball. That’s what it comes down to. Once we start hitting, it will help everything else after that.”
The team will have another home double-header on Saturday with games against Yerington at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.