Monday, May 29, 2017

Third time not charm for Eagles

The 2017 Oran Eagle baseball season ended the same way as the 2015 and 2016 seasons did; with a district championship loss to the Bell City Cubs.  Oran finished the year at 14-5.

Coach Joe Bicking put the year in perspective, "If you just look at how our season ended you would say it was a disappointment.   Losing the district championship for the 3rd year in a row and not being able to accomplish the goals we set out for the team at the beginning of the year I can understand that.  Now if you look at our season as a whole, we were able to do some really good things throughout the year.  A record of 14-5 is nothing to hang your head about.  Let's first look at our 5 losses and who they were against.  Scott City (previous 2 years in Class 3 Final Four),  Portageville (one game away from making it to the Class 3 Final Four and state-ranked), Kelly (always a tough conference opponent and lost 2-1 in eight innings), Poplar Bluff ( Class 5 school that made it to the quarterfinal round), and Bell City (2 time Class 1 defending champions and are making another trip to the Final Four).  All of those losses are tough opponents.  Now we can look at our wins.  Sikeston (class 4 and made it to the quarterfinals), Kennett (Class 4 and are always a quality team and well coached), East Prairie (Class 3 and are a young team that thumped us last year 14-1), & Bell City at their place toward the end of the season.  We had plenty of competition this year and to have the record we had says a lot about how well this team played at times and the potential they have."

The Eagles graduate two from this year's team, Austin Eftink and Wyatt Kinney.

They will return the rest of the roster, including 3 juniors that were named to the Scott-Mississippi All-Conference team-Layne Johnson, Drew Reischman and Clay Sauceda.

Reischman led the club with a .524 batting average and 4 home runs.  He added 26 runs driven in.  On the mound, he was 2-1 with a save and an ERA of 4.35.

Sauceda hit .407, had 2 homers and a team-high 28 rbi.  He finished with a 1-0 mark and had a save.  His ERA was 0.50.

Johnson batted .339 and on the mound, he was 5-3 with a 3.67 ERA.

Bickings said, "Looking into next year, I feel that this team needs to be more consistent throughout the season.  At the beginning of this year, our pitching and defense weren't that great but we were hitting the ball really well.  It seemed as the season went along our hitting started to go down but our pitching and defense were doing well.  If these guys can stay consistent next year, watch out because there could be some really good things that can happen."

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