Scouts fall to the Hamilton Joes
Scouts fall to the Hamilton Joes
By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer
July 26, 2018
HAMILTON-With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, no men on base, and his team trailing by three, Scouts first baseman Caleb Eder knew the chances of a comeback were dismal on Wednesday night.
Yet, Eder was able to work a full count, and drive a single out of reach of the Hamilton Joes shortstop. While many players would have jogged to first, knowing that they would be safe, Eder still sprinted, showing great hustle even when it may not have been necessary. Although the next batter would be retired, and the Scouts would lose 8-5, Eder’s effort spoke volumes about himself and his team, something that assistant coach Austin Harmon is very proud of.
“That’s what we talked about in our postgame tonight,” Harmon said. “We can’t give up. We have four more games, and you either care or you don’t. That’s what we like to see, guys giving maximum effort no matter the situation, no matter what’s on the scoreboard. That’s what we like to see.”
Another example of this effort was exemplified by Felix King. King, who has predominantly played first base for the Scouts this year, stepped up and started behind the plate. He plays catcher for his college team, so he is familiar with the position, yet it had been awhile since he has caught.
“We were proud of Felix for stepping up, getting behind the dish,” said Harmon. “He hadn’t caught in a while, but we knew he could do it, and he did a great job.”
King also had a big night at the plate after struggling for what he admits has been close to a month. He went 1-3, with his hit being a two-run double.
“After the hit itself, I felt pretty good,” said King. “It was exciting, because I haven’t hit a ball like that in awhile. It’s good, but it’s still a little bit of a bummer, our team lost. But deep down inside, I feel positive coming into my next couple at-bats, and I’m excited for that.”
King caught Tom Fleser’s start, one that could have been better if it weren’t for some unfortunate occurrences, including three triples by the Joes and some fielding mistakes by the Xenia defense. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on five hits and walking only two batters.
“We were pleased with Tom,” said Harmon. “Pleased that he was able to fill up the zone with strikes. Even though they were able to push across some runs on him, we liked that better than walking people and hitting people. We were just glad he was competing.”
Offensively, the Scouts outhit the Joes 9-5, but were unable to push many of these runners across the plate. However, Harmon said that at the end of the day, he and his staff are satisfied with the performance.
On June 6, the Scouts travelled to Hamilton to play the Joes on Opening Day, a contest that Xenia lost. After the game, Bubba Cates, the team’s manager, said that he is more concerned about seeing his players improve than he is about winning.
Upon returning to Hamilton almost two months later, a lot has changed. Cates has not been with the team for almost a month as he has been dealing with health issues. Their record has fallen from 0-1 to 9-28. Some players have headed home due to injury, some players have joined the team.
But Felix King believes that despite all of the adversity the team has faced, they have all developed as players, and as people. They didn’t let Bubba down.