Baseball players persevere through injury, losses

Team had gained seven wins in the season at week’s start

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Sand kicks up as runners sprint from base to base. Crowds cheer as the pitcher’s ball spirals straight into the metal bat, creating a crack which echoes throughout the diamond. The crowd sees a team of active and energetic players ready to battle over a win, but what they don’t see are the bruises and sprained joints hidden under their white and green uniforms. Baseball is a sport which comes with hidden prices, and the Warsaw team is more than willing to pay them.

Senior shortstop Riley Bagley has been on the team for all four years of high school and has played baseball since he was eight. This long history of playing the sport has also come with a collection of injuries, which he believes are a worthy price he pays.

“I’ve gotten some injuries on my elbow from throwing so much, and getting hit in the back–that’s not fun, but that doesn’t stay very long,” Bagley said. “If I have to pitch, I can pitch for two innings and then my arm’s shot for that game. Getting hit in the back doesn’t really affect me.”

Sophomore catcher Trey Palmer has been playing baseball since he was seven and his favorite part of the sport is throwing people out/getting them off of the base.

“Once I cut my finger open, got a couple of messed up knees, arm troubles, couple of jammed fingers – typical stuff,” Palmer said. “You just have to play through it when you’re a catcher. If you have a jammed finger, it’s going to hurt even more when you catch with it, but it’s going to be fine. You just have to do it.”

“If you have a jammed finger, it’s going to hurt even more when you catch with it, but it’s going to be fine. You just have to do it.””

— Sophomore Trey Palmer

 

Palmer agrees with Bagley, saying that the sport is worth the pain–especially when he perseveres and throws someone out as a result.

Freshman third pitch/short Jack Gardner has been playing baseball since he was three but, unlike the rest of his teammates, he has yet to receive an injury.

“I don’t think I’ve really had any injuries playing baseball. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten one. I’ve had a lot of bruises but I’ve never gotten, like, actually hurt,” Gardner said. “I also play football and I’m going to play basketball next year, but my favorite is baseball. It’s just so fun and I’ve been playing it for so long it’s just a great sport to play.”

Gardner plans to play baseball for a living, with desires to attend Missouri State University while playing on the college team.

Baseball head coach Johnny Eierman has spent three years coaching, but this is his first at Warsaw. Eierman believes that pain is worth the gain when it comes to baseball.

“When I played baseball, I tore my rotator cuff and then I had other various small injuries. I had surgery. It wasn’t career ending surgery but I didn’t play after that,” Eierman said.

The baseball team was 7-10 going into this week with a scheduled game against Skyline on April 22 and Sherwood on April 23. They gained a win against Buffalo on Tuesday, March 26 (11-8). Thursday, March 28, the team travelled to Fair Grove, and the game got suspended due to lightning in the sixth inning (2-2). The game will be finished at a later date. Friday, March 29 Warsaw traveled to Harrison, Arkansas for the Ozark Classic. Warsaw lost to Harrison 6-12. Saturday, March 30 Warsaw played at Forsyth and lost (5-14). The team played El Dorado Springs on Tuesday, Apr. 2 and lost (6-9). Warsaw lost its match against Strafford on Thursday, Apr. 3 (1-10). The team went against Cole Camp and Lincoln on Saturday Apr. 6 and beat Cole Camp (3-1) and beat Lincoln (15-5). Apr. 9, the Cats lost to Buffalo (5-7) and beat Lakeland (14-11) on Apr. 11. Warsaw also competed in the Stockton tournament held the week of the 16th, resulting in a win against Butler and losses against Stockton and New Covenant Academy.

In his first season as a Wildcat coach, Eierman says building blocks are being formed as the team meets with success and learning opportunities.

“We’ll continue to improve by providing stability and then just kind of using what we’ve learned and worked on this year and continue it in the next years. We’re starting a program; a foundation. We’re going to work off of it every year,” he said.

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