After close loss, Rock Bridge focuses on making contact

Friday, April 29, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:14 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

Hitting hasn’t been Rock Bridge’s strength this season.

In the Bruins most recent outing, a 3-1 loss Wednesday to Jefferson City, they collected eight hits but couldn’t capitalize late in the game.

“I guess we need to practice some more and work on putting the ball in play,” coach Terry Whitney said after the game. “We’ve been doing that but I guess we have to do a little better job. We will have to work on it.”

Rock Bridge did just that Thursday at practice.

Situational hitting was the big focus. Drill after drill worked on putting the ball in play and one way that Whitney worked on that was through competition.

“We were trying to get them going a little bit,” Whitney said.

The game was simple: players were awarded one point for hitting the back of the batting cage net and the team with the most points got to watch the others run.

“After last night, we need to try to score a few more runs,” Whitney said. “The one thing that I wanted to work on today was hitting a little bit.”

The Bruins hope to get their hitting back this weekend when they co-host the Columbia Tournament with Hickman.

Since the tournament started, the two schools have invited teams from across the state.

“A reason I like (the tournament) is that you see teams from all over,” Whitney said. “We have a couple from Kansas City, a couple from the St. Louis region. I think that (Hickman coach) Dave (Wilson) and I both like it to see some different competition.”

Whitney said he also likes to give his team some more chances to play at home.

“We get a chance for people to see us,” senior Scott Reller said. “We know what to expect and we have to defend our field. We’re going to go out there, play hard and see what happens.”

The Bruins (7-6) and Kewpies (13-1) split the games between their fields, but the weather might keep games from being played. Whitney said that if it rains, the tournament has a good chance of not being played.

“Last year, the following Saturday, two teams came back and played,” Whitney said. “That could be a possibility.”

Rock Bridge plays Owensville at 4:30 p.m. today at Rock Bridge Park. Ben Martin is scheduled to start.

Hickman’s first game is at 4:30 p.m. today against Sullivan at Hickman Field.

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