Lindsay head coach Derrick Jenkins had a long talk with his team following their 7-1 defeat at the hands of Muenster on Tuesday, April 6.
The Knights struggled at the plate and were no-hit by Muenster’s Jonathan Wheeler.
It looked as if the Hornets had their number again in the rubber match Friday, April 9. Muenster took a 4-0 lead, but this time, the Knights resisted defeat and emerged with an 8-6 victory in dramatic fashion.
Lindsay’s Walker Turbeville came through in the clutch with a bases-clearing double in the top of the seventh inning.
Jenkins said Wednesday’s practice went well and he lauded his team for its ability to move on from the off game.
“Even down 4-0 Friday, I thought we did some things well,” Jenkins said. “Muenster just played defense on the balls we put in play. We just couldn’t get anything going early, but then the weather flipped and we seemed to figure things out. You hope the win carries you to the next step and hopefully the way we won it carries the rest of the season. I like how we won. We bunted some. We got on base. We walked. We did the things you have to do to win a ball game.”
The win evens the Knights with Muenster with both teams having one district loss on the season. If both teams win out, it could come down to a flip of a coin to see who earns the top seed in the playoffs. As much as a district championship is a goal for the Knights, Jenkins said the long-term goal is success in the playoffs.
“A district championship is great, but at the end of the day, we have playoffs coming,” Jenkins said. “If those two games against Muenster make or break whether I’m down or not, we’ve got a long year. You’ve got to move on. Playoff are going to get here and playoffs won’t matter when that happens.”
Friday’s win wasn’t the first time the Knights have rallied from a hefty deficit. Lindsay pulled off a win over Windthorst after being down three runs and several other wins this season came with late scoring.
Jenkins said the Knights’ biggest issue is not getting off to a hot start and that begins with having the right mindset to begin a game.
“We’ve got to find a better way to start the day against a good team,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got to find a way to be better from the get-go. It’s a relaxed group of kids. Sometimes you’re almost too relaxed. You have to find some more intensity to start the day. Sometimes you expect to win. You have to find a little bit different energy level.”
Muenster led 5-3 headed into the seventh inning, but the Knights delivered five runs in the seventh to take a lead.
Parker Hillis finished the game on the mound for the Knights, going 6.2 innings while allowing three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and just two walks.
“Logan Jenkins started and left the ball over the plate a bit too much, but we went with Parker and he threw well,” Jenkins said. “He can throw. We feel like we have a luxury with three guys that can throw really well. He filled up the zone and threw two pitches for strikes. We played pretty good defense the whole game.”
Lindsay faces Alvord the next two games and Jenkins said the slow starts have to get better moving forward. Jenkins is hoping these games against Muenster and Alvord will act as good primers for playoff baseball.
“At this point, if you look up and think you have to fix all these things, you’re in trouble,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got to find a way to get that intensity level and I’m hoping the playoffs will help with that. Alvord is an older team. They do a good job and if you look at their scores, they play really well. They believe they can win and they have a lot to prove also. They’ll be a tough team this week.”
Reach Patrick Hayslip at firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter at @PatrickHayslip