Anthony Markowitz wanted to test the Emporia Post 5 AAA legion baseball team Wednesday night in its single nine-inning game with Ottawa at Soden’s Grove.
Setting up for a weekend tournament in Great Bend, he wanted to see what everyone could do before the tournament began on Friday. Eight different players took the mound in the contest for Emporia, giving several a chance to sink or shine.
It was mostly a sparkling result as Emporia produced a 10-3 victory over the Arrows.
“They (threw) strikes,” Markowitz said. “It’s kind of a tough spot for them to be in if they don’t get many opportunities to do that. They came out and did that. It gave us trust that we have a lot of guys that can throw.
“We know that to compete in the tournament this weekend, we’re going to have to get lots of guys to throw strikes when they get a chance to come into the game. We continued to hit the ball well throughout the game and guys didn’t get too worried about their first at-bat and found a way to get a hit in their next at-bat.”
Beau Baumgardner said Markowitz told the team to play its game.
“He really wanted us to stay focused, but play relaxed, like we always do,” Baumgardner said. “That’s when we have the most fun.”
Ottawa took a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI single by Blake Ohlmeier, but it was the only time lead the opposition would have.
In the second, Emporia scored three runs, all coming from its lower part of the order. Ethan Garate and Camden Kirmer had RBI singles and Chance Gilpin drove in a run with a groundout.
“(That) was the turning point of the game,” Markowitz said. “All three of those guys ...(are) looking to find innings and when they get a chance, they’re succeeding.”
Post 5 tacked on a pair in the third on a sacrifice fly by Kadyn Williams and Beau Baumgardner scored on an error. Williams drove in his second run in the fifth.
Ottawa got its final two runs in the seventh and the eighth, while Emporia added a run in the seventh and three in the eighth. Kirmer recorded his second RBI in the seventh, Jace Stewart and Riley Wagner combined for all three RBIs in the eighth.
Kirmer went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
“It felt great at the plate,” he said.
Williams went 1-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs.
“It feels good to come out here and get a good win like that,” he said. “We had more chances for guys in spots that they usually don’t play.”
Baumgardner led Post 5 with three hits and two runs scored.
John Miller started, going two innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts.
Post 5 (13-0) travels to Great Bend for the Barton Tournament which begins Friday. Emporia will play The Barn 17s at 11:15 a.m. and the Sluggers at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Barton Community College. Post 5 wraps up pool play against Nickerson at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Its result in pool play will determine if it’ll play in a consolation game on Saturday or advances to bracket play on Sunday.
“All the teams we play this weekend are going to be quality teams,” Markowitz said. “We’ve just got to do what we do — come out and compete and see where we’re at. If we approach the game the right way and play how we play, I think we’ll be successful. Either way, if we aren’t successful, we’ve got to battle some adversity and find a way to get better this weekend.”