The Valley View Eagles baseball team has five games remaining this season. Against Whitesboro on Tuesday, April 13, the Eagles got off to a rough start and surrendered five runs in the first inning en route to a 9-3 loss.
Head coach Jim Mavroulis said the potential is there for his team, but they have come up short in district. Still, there were plenty of aspects of the Eagles’ game he liked and knows they can build on.
“District has gone poorly,” Mavroulis said. “We lost our best pitcher, so we’ve been struggling. There are a bunch of good teams in this district and we’ve made a lot of mistakes. We were in a lot of ball games, but we couldn’t close them out. We weren’t making the plays when we had them. But the kids are playing hard and giving it everything they’ve got.”
Wyatt Huber was on the mound for the Eagles and Mavroulis said he pitched great.
“He’s a track athlete, so we don’t get him a lot because he’s been doing other things, but I thought he did well,” Mavroulis said. “He came in during the second inning with us behind. It’s tough to fall behind against the best team in the district. We’ve got to score more than three runs to win and we know that. I’m proud of them. They’re still battling. They haven’t thrown in the towel. We’re going to surprise some people and we may get these guys next game.”
Valley View will host Whitesboro against Friday, April 16. The Eagles took a 1-0 lead after the top half of first inning, but yielded five runs in the bottom of the first. They scored again in the second, but Whitesboro was there with a run of their own to claim a 6-2 lead.
“You can’t give up five runs,” Mavroulis said. “If you take the five runs, it’s 4-3. It’s just a ball game. We’ve been in almost every ball game until we take ourselves out of it. We had Pilot Point beat the other day. We had a three-run lead in the top of the seventh and we gave up seven runs. We just have to close games out and not make mistakes.”
Despite trailing 9-2, the Eagles added a run in the top of the seventh and Mavroulis was happy his team never relented.
“We’re getting people on, but we’re not bunching our hits together. Hitting is kind of infectious. You have to get hitter after hitter after hitter going to be effective. That’s what we try to do, but we haven’t been able to do that consistently this year. I’m proud of his kids. It’s easy to throw in the towel. The kids are fighting and that’s all I can ask. They battled until the end of the game.
“We’ve got people banged up and Whitesboro is good too,” Mavroulis said. “They’ve got pitchers too. We work hard at hitting. Some days we swing well and some days we don’t.”
The future of this team is still bright Mavroulis said and he knows these final handful of games are imperative to their development.
“A lot of these kids are back,” Mavroulis said. “There are a ton of sophomores and it’s great experience. This is all of their first time playing against [Class] 3A competition. The district they were coming out of, there was one good team and everybody else they rolled over. It’s not like that anymore.”