After being in a slump like how the McPherson Pipeliners has been in the last two weeks, it was time to do some experiment and utilize the versatility in some of the players.
The coaches made risky and bold moves putting Liam Rosebeck at second base and making him the leadoff hitter in the batting line up. Who knew the Tucson native would hit three straight singles with two RBIs? Rosebeck hasn't been on the plate for 2-3 years according to him, but he felt comfortable and confident that he would get it done regardless.
"In the last couple days, we were just messing around just hitting B.Ps (batting practice), just staying loose with the guys," Rosebeck said. "We have a couple guys that are hurting and a couple guys gone down. The coaches were trying some new stuff. We still have a good team , so I just wanted show that we can still have fun."
Rosebeck didn't look too comfortable lining up in his right on second base. At least not at first. Luckily for him, not many ground balls hit his way, and he managed to catch a few fly balls on defense.
"To be honest I wasn't ready for theground balls, but it was a good game, and I just tried to stay in it," Rosebeck said.
Also unexpected was in the ninth inning when Cody Starkel stepped up on the mound as the Pipeliners' closer. Hartman was running thin at pitchers and wanted to see who was able to throw. The McPherson native volunteered.
"When our staff started thinning out, we've asked some guys to throw, and Starkel has thrown in the past. He had some real heavy fastballs with some good movements and great off speed. Clearly it showed up for us."
The last time Starkel pitched, he was a Bullpup. That didn't stop him from convincing the coaches that he can throw at least one strikeout, and that's what he did.
"I've been messing with the coaches for like a couple weeks about doing it just because I did it in High School, and I haven't done it in a couple years," Starkel said. "I just thought it'll be fun, and I think we're starting to relax with Liam (Rosebeck) playing at second and he did really well."
Positive vibes in the dugout: The Pipeliners were standing up throughout Tuesday's game in their win over the Kansas Cannons, a team that's fighting for the No.1 seed in their league. The Pipeliners wanted to be full of life and supportive of one another without having to sit down in the dugout.
"The energy was different. We were just in it to win it after a rough couple games. We just turned it around today," Carson Davis said ."When you go on a rough couple games, you just try something new and make something happen, and it worked tonight. We're just going to keep the energy up. Our energy has been down. We took the seats and buckets out where everyone have to be in the dugout. We just change some things around and have positive energy all night and make things happen."
The Pipeliners may be last in the standings at 8-20, but with eight more games left, the Pipeliners has a chance to catch up and chase the third seed. Beating the No.2 team in the league and snapping a 10-game losing streak is a start.
"To go out, play loose and have fun, it really showed tonight," head coach Caleb Hartman said. "We're still in the bottom half, but when you play like this, you can definitely make a run at the top half of the standings. They are a good ball club. We were just better tonight."
McDaniel on his way to Fort Hays State: McPherson native has announced on his social media accounts that he has signed to play college baseball with Fort Hays State University.
"Proud to announce that I will be furthering my academic and baseball career at Fort Hays State University. Excited to see what these next two years bring," he said on Twitter.
Before signing to Fort Hays State and playing for the Pipeliners, he was a member of the Neosho County Community College baseball team for two years in Chanute, Kansas. He will be reuniting with Starkel, his former teammate at McPherson High School who's already on the Tigers' roster.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_or our sports page @MacCountySports