By Austin Bishop
The Webster Progress-Times
If the weather cooperates, coach Wes Johnson and his young East Webster High School Wolverines will open region baseball play on Friday night when they play host to the arch-rival Eagles off Eupora High School.
“I think we’re ready,” Johnson said. “We are really playing hard and trying to do all the right things. We are just so young that sometimes we press and that can lead to mistakes. But they are mistakes of effort. We just need some experience and we are getting that.”
The Wolverines, who are now 7-5 on the season picked up some of that experience last week when they dropped a pair of tight contests to French Camp Academy. The first game saw FCA senior right-hander Cole Henson and East Webster’s Derek Jones lock up in a pitchers’ duel that the Panthers won 3-0 last Friday. On Monday EW again travelled to French Camp and lost 10-9 in eight-innings with an ending that Johnson termed “bizarre.”
“I was one of the strangest things I’ve seen,” he said. The Wolverines led 4-0 early, but FCA rallied to force extra innings. After East Webster scored in the top of the eighth, FCA scored two runs — one which was officially credited after time had been called — to win the game.
East Webster was leading 9-8 and French Camp had runners on first and third with one out. The runner on first attempted to steal, with the East Webster second baseman cutting off the throw form the catcher and firing the ball to home in an attempt to get the runner attempting to score from third out at the plate. There was a collision at the plate, but the runner scored. The ball got away and the FCA runner from first came around to score.
“He was knocked out and nobody knew where the ball was,” Johnson said. “The focus was on the (injured) runner at that time.”
It was apparently ruled by the umpires that the ball had gone under the fence and was out of play, thus putting the second FCA runner who had scored back at third and leaving the game tied. While the injured player was begin attended to, it was then determined that the ball had been found on the playing field, so it was ruled by the umpire that both runs had scored and the game was over.
“We thought the ball had gone under the fence, so we weren’t looking for it,” Johnson said. “Never seen anything like it.”
But Johnson said playing under adverse conditions is something teams have to get used to. “It’s all part of the game,” he said. “You have to be ready for anything. Things don’t always go your way.”
Miller Hancock and Jones each had hits for East Webster in the 3-0 loss to FCA, while the second game saw Chase Keller smack a three-run double and John Wofford Williams record a pair of hits.
After the game with Eupora on Friday, the Wolverines are set to host two games on Saturday — hosting Nanih Waiya at 11 a.m. and Hatley at 1 p.m.
Editor’s note: Any person or parent wishing to submit game photos please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the Webster Progress Times Office.