Three games are in the books for the McPherson Pipeliners. Now the team will focus not only their first league game on Wednesday against the Clearwater Outlaws, but it will also be one of the three road games they have this week before the next home game on Saturday. The Pipeliners will be looking to get their first road game of the year.
After splitting the series with the Great Bend Bat Cats, their first loss of the year last Friday was the turning point on their progression, and it is how the team managed to answer back by winning on Saturday.
"I think the biggest thing is how we responded in the loss the other night when we got beaten pretty badly," Enzo Bonventre said. "We came back and still found a way to get the win. We keep those losses with us and bouncing back day-to-day and playing like it's a fresh start, and that allowed us to win."
As the Pipeliners begin their road stretch, it is preparation mentally inside the bus that plays a role for McPherson. When it's game day, it will usually be quiet, with each players having headphones on their head while listening to their music on their way to the game, it's one way to keep them focus before the start of the first pitch.
"We make sure we are prepared on the bus and not wasting time on the bus because when you are traveling. You don't have that luxury of playing home field that's not 15 minutes from your home. So you have to be out there preparing while sitting at the bus sometimes and play some baseball," Bonventre said.
The Pipeliners are communicating with each other more, knowing that they only been around each other for a week now. Even though it's a long season, players are making sure each is on the same page as they figure out their identity this year.
"I think we're just jelling it more and more," Luke Quick said. "I think the first week or so we that we had together before we go we hoped to jell as a team. We didn't know each other coming in."
As the Pipeliners still working on improving on their hitting, base running has still been beneficial for McPherson. So far, most of the runs scored by the Pipeliners came off base running.
"We tried to balance both," Quick said. "Coach (Hartman) gave it to us straight when we first got here that we were going to be an aggressive team on the base pass, trying to make teams throw us out and make mistakes. Me personally that's what I'm about. Base running from A to B as quick as I can."
For assistant coach Chad Pinson, it is something the Pipeliners has been thriving during practice. It is starting to show during games, and it's something Pinson and Hartman wanted.
"There's more to the game of baseball than just hitting, fielding and pitching," Pinson said. "Base running is huge. We work on the small details like base running, proper secondary leads, learn how to read the pitcher in the dirt so we can take advantage of those mistakes by the team."
"My big deal is play within yourself," he continued. "Sometimes guys tried to be something more than what they really are, so we work on the middle part of the game within ourselves and not being selfish. We want to move baserunners and back each other up and be supportive. When we do the small things in the game , chances at nine out of the ten results come to your favor."
Hartman and Pinson are still figuring on their starting rotation for each other. Especially for his pitching staff. With three games in, they are starting to get an idea and are getting closer to who they want on the field.
"His objective is lets see with all of our pitchers in the first three to five games and get a better field of what we can start in the rotation," Pinson said. "I would say sometime next week we will have a designated rotation."
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports