JUNCTION CITY, Kan.— The Junction City Blue Jay baseball team split its double-header on Tuesday at Rathert Field.
In game one, the Blue Jays gritted out a 6-5 win over Great Bend in nine innings, coming from behind to get their first win of the season. A walk-off pass ball brought the game-winning run home after each team went scoreless for four consecutive innings.
"I really didn't want that game to end on a pass ball like it did," said Head Coach Carl Laughlin after the win. "I want to see someone put the ball in play and execute things right, but when you get a win you take the win and it's a good feeling."
In game two, the Blue Jays were unable to come from behind a second time on the day, falling to McPherson 4-2. Great defensive plays kept Junction City in the game, but they were unable to string together many hits in the final inning, falling on a fly ball turned into a double play.
The games were the second and third for the Blue Jays on the new turf at Rathert Field, and the team is still gaining familiarity with the way it plays, which has undoubtedly lead to a few fielding errors, combined with still some early-season kinks to be worked out as the year progresses.
Coach Laughlin discussed the fielding miscues with humor. "I think there's maybe a hole at second base because we haven't made a play at second base all year laugh," he said with a laugh.
"It's just getting there, and getting comfortable in the spot," he continued. "We've been moving people all over so no one knows where they're playing quite yet, so we'll figure it out."
Despite the early 1-2 record, Laughlin was encouraged by his team's start, having opportunities in all three of their first few contests to snatch a late win. They'll continue to develop, looking ahead to their next contest on Tuesday at Emporia to open Centennial League play at one of the more unique ball fields in the state of Kansas.
The Blue Jay baseball team won't return home to Rathert Field until April 16th when they host Highland Park.