Friday night the Van Buren baseball team hosted Fairfield for a scrimmage at their fancy, new million-plus dollar Mildred and Eddie Ferguson Sports Complex in Keosauqua.
“I knew when we set this scrimmage up with Fairfield, we were going to see a good ball club and well coached team,” said Warrior skipper Chad Scott. “That’s what we need to see right now. It’s a new rule for us to be able to scrimmage them and so taking advantage of an opportunity with a team like this is good for us.”
As for his team?
“I think our pitching has looked real good tonight. Defensively we’ve been OK and our pitchers have gotten us out of some jams.”
“With this group, our one goal is to get better each day,” said Scott. “The weather has been a struggle so we’ve only been outside 4-5 times. Right now, not a lot of lofty goals, we’re young in some spots. We do have some seniors and we need them to be leaders and our young guys to step up and we’ll be able to continue to improve.”
Fairfield had it’s own set of kinks to work out during the final scrimmage before the start of the regular season Monday. (FHS had it’s season opener at Williamsburg rained out.)
“I don’t hate it, but it’s not my most favorite thing to do,” described senior Reece Klehm about running. “I’m kind of slow, so they tell me to unhook the plow so I can go faster. I try, but it’s just fun when I hear them. It means they’re paying attention and that makes me feel good.”
Classmate Brittan Bowman did what B-Bow does.
“I just like having fun honestly, it’s nice to have fun.”
Is his big speech ready for Sunday? (Bowman is the Trojans Class of 2019 Valedictorian)
“Speech is done and now it’s time to remember it and make sure I know it and put the final touch on it. I’m excited and I hope it makes people feel all the feels.”
Austin Simpson came in to pitch and threw seven consecutive balls.
“I don’t know, we’ll see where the season goes,” said Simpson on the possibility of him being an extra arm in the rotation.
One thing he did do well was hit.
“It was low and inside and I turned on it,” explained the soon-to-be college baseball player about the monstrous moonshot he smoked over the right field fence. “The new motto is to take everything the other way and react in,” said Simpson before clarifying that while his sister Hannah is aiming for a .350 average, he has the focus of a final year.
“I’m worried about winning.”
His buddy Tristin Waugh has struggled a bit at the plate, relative to his normal non-struggling.
“I might be feeling like I have to do too much,” said T-Waugh. “I haven’t been at practice much, so I just have to relax and do my own thing and be able to have fun and base hits will eventually come.”
Fairfield will host Ottumwa Friday night for a doubleheader.