Varsity Kansas

Baseball: Goddard turns to seniors for postseason surge

Goddard basetball coach Steve Sheahon is approaching the postseason a little differently by allowing the seniors to take the lead, rather than the coaching staff.

“We put it on the kids, we have a lot of seniors,” Sheahon said. “It’s not my team, not the assistant coach’s team, it’s their team. They want to make it to state, they want it more than I want it.”

With 13 seniors, Goddard (16-3) has a lot of leadership.

Sheahon said all phases are working well. The pitching staff has a 2.33 ERA and Austin White leads the offense with a .406 batting average.

“We’ve got to worry about Goddard baseball, not whoever we’re playing,” Sheahon said. “If we do what we need to do, we’re going to be fine. Get good pitching, and hitters coming through, with as many seniors as we have we expect that.”

Bouncing back — Bishop Carroll may have lost control of the City League baseball race on Monday with two losses to Northwest, but coach Charlie Ebright has a bigger picture in sight: the state tournament.

“We’re used to getting to state, and trying to compete for state championships,” Ebright said. “Losing City to me is not as big of a deal as playing good defensive baseball going into postseason. We want to be rolling on all cylinders when we hit postseason.”

Ebright hopes to focus on the event of losing control of City League as a chance to learn, rather than a team losing control.

“Losses give us an opportunity for reflection, and an opportunity to learn how to play the game — not to get riled up,” Ebright said. “I didn’t feel like they were competing at the level that I feel they should be competing.”

Last year, Carroll lost in the first round of the Class 5A tournament after finishing second in 2010.

“We had a couple guys starting as sophomores in the championship game two years ago.” Ebright said. “They won’t be shell-shocked, so I think if we get our heads right we can make a run at it.”

An extremely deep pitching staff has been important to Carroll. The team’s combined ERA is 1.37; Seth Holman leads Carroll with an ERA of 1.11 in 44 innings.

The team’s combined batting average is .339 with a total of 10 home runs. Tanner Palmore is hitting .422.

The recent challenge for Carroll is in the field. The Eagles had eight errors in Monday’s doubleheader.

“We’re close, we’re pitching, we’re hitting enough, and we just need to make a couple more plays defensively and it’s a different story,” Ebright said.

For the love of the game — Shortstop Tyler Jorgensen is one of four South players who play outside of the high school season. Lack of experience has helped limit South to a 4-16 record, yet Jorgensen enjoys this chance to share his knowledge of baseball.

“It’s hard, but I love baseball. I just want to play,” Jorgensen said. “I use this (high school season) as an opportunity to teach. We’re all friends, I just like showing them baseball.”

Jorgensen is hitting .438 heading into next week’s regionals.