• Fort still seeking plate patience

  • Fort Osage baseball coach Chris Walker wasn’t all that impressed with his team’s end result Wednesday afternoon.

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  • Fort Osage baseball coach Chris Walker wasn’t all that impressed with his team’s end result Wednesday afternoon.
    Because on the surface, the Indians’ 12-2 five-inning Suburban Seven Conference victory over William Chrisman at Fort Osage High School seemed pretty solid. But upon closer examination, Walker noticed some red flags.
    The main issue, he said, was the plate approach his guys took. The Indians busted out for five runs in the first and fourth frames, but didn’t show a lot of patience in doing so. They only drew one walk in the game and 21 of their at-bats lasted five pitches or less.
    “I think with this team, these guys really need to do things the right way,” Walker said. “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose – it’s nice to get a conference win – but win or lose we need to play our type of game and go out and do the things that we can do and work on our weaknesses.”
    Fort (3-3, 2-0 conference) plated runs in the first as Derek Pike was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Hayden Baumgartner stroked a two-RBI single, Darby Raines connected with a run-scoring base hit and then Baumgartner scored on a Chrisman error.
    Still, Pike said the Indians’ focus was misplaced from the outset.
    “I thought we were a little slow,” said Pike, who finished 1-for-2 with a pair of runs and RBIs. “I didn’t think we were going to come out that slow. We just didn’t really have the confidence that we had (in wins) against Belton and Truman.”
    The Bears (2-2, 0-1) fought back in the second, scoring two runs on RBI singles from Gannon Ogle and Jerry Snow during a 37-pitch inning for Fort starter Chad Sutton.
    Sutton labored at times but still managed to go four innings while allowing only one earned run, three hits and striking out seven.
    “I think Chad, when he was hitting his spots, was on,” Walker said. “He was struggling a little bit with his control, but this kind of weather will do that to you sometimes.”
    After slicing the deficit, the Bears cost themselves with repeated miscues. They committed five errors and six of the runs they allowed were unearned.
    “We just have to not lose focus,” Chrisman coach J.R. Wells said. “We’ve talked a lot to our kids about it being a race to 21 outs, but we’ve got to take it one at a time. You can’t let one bad thing or one error turn into three or four. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to us.”
    Fort went up 6-2 when Sutton scored on a wild pitch in the second and added another run when Luke Crabb drove in Baumgartner with a single in the third.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Indians sealed the victory with a five-run fourth that included an RBI single from Pike and a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Tyler Murphy. Austin Garcia also scored on a double steal and two more Fort runs came in courtesy of Chrisman errors.
    “We did struggle a little bit here and in Oklahoma (in the Bartlesville Tournament last weekend),” said Baumgartner, who went 2-for-3 with two runs and RBIs. “We’ve had some errors that cost us a little bit. But honestly, in our performances at home we’ve really started getting together as a team and have a good flow. Everything’s clicking and working.”
    Crabb also finished 2-for-3, Sutton scored three times and Trevor Jefferies and Garcia added a pair of runs.
    Taylor Cox ended 1-for-2 for Chrisman and Cody Jackson and Patrick Grego plated runs.
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC

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