A little time off seemed to have no ill effects for the Truman baseball team.

A little time off seemed to have no ill effects for the Truman baseball team.

The Patriots had eight days off after winning the Eastern Jackson County Mid-Season Classic.

The winning continued as soon as the baseball did for Truman. The Patriots downed Lee’s Summit West 4-0 right before crushing William Chrisman 15-3 in five innings during a Friday afternoon doubleheader.

Truman’s victory over West handed the Titans their first Middle Six loss of the season. It narrowed the conference gap for Truman, which is 15-3 overall 4-2 in conference.

“I thought we played really well against a quality team,” Truman coach John Eglich said. “We did the little things we needed to do.”

In the second game, the little things didn’t matter as much as Truman lit up the Bears’ pitching. Truman had nine hits in the game, which included two home runs. The first home run was a solo shot by John Felz in the second inning.

“Maybe it was just our kids getting a little more comfortable after seeing pitches the first time,” Eglich said. “Whatever reason, we’ll take it.”

The second homer was a grand slam by James O’Dell. It came in a fourth inning when the Patriots scored six runs with two outs and took a 13-2 lead.

“As a coach, you’d like to say we can do that whenever we want to,” Eglich said. “It’s just not reality. It’s always nice when you score with two outs.

“I think it’s a little demoralizing, especially a grand slam. It kind of put a capper on it.”

Chrisman coach Jim Pickett said the wheels came off at the wrong time for the Bears.

“At that spot in the game, you’ve just got to focus and be aggressive and get that out and that’s not what we did,” Pickett said.

The Bears answered with a run in the bottom of an inning thanks to some smart base running. Nick LaFavor scored from third when a called third strike was dropped and Truman catcher Tanner Burkett couldn’t find it in time.

The Patriots didn’t let up though, scoring two more fifth to cut the game short.

“It was good to see that we kept going,” Eglich said. “We just didn’t sit and hope those runs were going to hold up. We kept going.”

The Bears keep going too. The loss drops Chrisman to 1-20 on the season, but Pickett makes sure his kids stay positive.

“This is the greatest game you can play,” Pickett said. “I tell them it’s a privilege to get to play this game. When they get out here, they need to treat it like that, and have respect for the game.

“Having respect for the game means when you’re down, you just keep playing. You keep playing hard. You always play the right way.”

It’s something Pickett’s players have taken to heart this year.

“My kids, they don’t quit,” Pickett said. “They don’t quit on me, and I’m proud of them for that.”

Besides, Pickett said while the Bears may not be getting wins out of these games, they may be getting something much more valuable.

“This game, a lot of times, is about life too,” Pickett said. “We’re trying to teach them this is life. Life’s not always going to go the way you want.

“When things don’t go your way, you’ve got to keep fighting and scratching and just keep pressing on no matter what.”