The Trinity Christian Academy Eagles entered the third week of their baseball season with a 4-1 record and the goal to improve that record.
"The early part of any season is always the toughest part," said first-year high school coach Charles Guynes.
The Eagles faced a tough first couple innings of their game March 4, when they trailed 4-1 to the Chisholm Trail Academy Blazers.
But the Eagles caught up in the bottom of the second with a walked batter and hits from Casey Gunter and Tanner Farley. Gunter, playing catcher, finished the evening 2-4 with an RBI and also gunned down a runner trying to advance to second. Farley had 2 RBI and scored on a wild pitch.
An error and a two-out rally in the third inning gave the Eagles an 8-4 lead with a two-run double by Grant Allen.
Guynes said the pitchers especially impressed him. Starting pitcher Kyle Lanier, pitching his first game of the season and enduring about a 30-minute delay when the field’s lights failed to turn on, allowed four runs but struck out six in two innings. Freshman Caleb Guynes pitched three shut-out innings of relief, striking out seven batters, including two to end an inning with bases loaded.
Payne Roewe struck out three straight batters in the sixth inning while Riley Waters closed out the game in the seventh.
Fans expressed pleasure mixed with concern when they saw Waters warming up. Their ace last season, Waters underwent Tommy John surgery and had not pitched since the procedure.
But after allowing a single, Waters got the next three batters out, striking out two, just before the lights turned off at the rented field.
"We wanted to put him in a situation where he could be really comfortable," Guynes said of putting Waters in to pitch, saying the11-4 lead provided that opportunity.
With a stellar infield and outfield combination, Guynes says adding a solid pitching rotation will bring them success this season.
"The season’s going real well so far," Guynes said. "They’re playing well...We’ve got one goal, and that goal is to win state. We’ve got a lot to learn, we’ve got a lot to do and a lot of work to put in, but I think we will be fine. I think we’ve got a legitimate shot."
Lady Eagles’ softball coach Malinda Farley thinks the varsity softball team also has a good shot in district play this season, but injuries and a slow start means they face an uphill battle.
The team’s key pitcher broke the wrist of her throwing arm and may not return this season. Another play has a cast on her leg and will not play for some more weeks.
Still without a win, the Lady Eagles thought they would get their first March 4, but the game ended in a 10-10 tie when they ran out of time and could not go into extra innings.
They had another chance Thursday against Fellowship Academy, and even held a 10-5 lead after the second inning.
But the lead disappeared for good the next inning on their way to an 18-13 loss.
Despite the amount of runs allowed, the Lady Eagles provided some good defensive plays including a double play and a tag-out at home when
"We played decent, we had some good hits," Farley said.
Allie Stevens had one of those hits with an in-the-park grand slam in the second inning, although the five-run limit only gave them two of the runs. Stevens finished the evening with three RBI.
Bailey Tovar and Faith Henning both added two RBI apiece. Emily Squyres and Elise Houston, who pitched all six innings for the Lady Eagles, each had one RBI.