Lonoke’s baseball Jackrabbits will visit Jacksonville on Thursday before taking a few days off for spring break.
Chris Foor’s team was 3-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play entering Tuesday’s conference doubleheader with Joe T. Robinson. Jacksonville’s Titans opened the week 4-3.
“Both teams are real young, so I think it’ll be an interesting game,” Foor said. “So many kids on both sides will be trying to prove stuff. We’ll have to come with our ‘A’ game.”
Last week, Lonoke split a conference doubleheader with Episcopal Collegiate, winning the first game, 11-2; and falling in the second, 6-5. The Jackrabbits then lost a conference doubleheader at Mayflower, 5-0 and 6-5.
“We knew Episcopal had the one pitcher, and the only shot they had was the one guy,” Foor said. “We did what we were supposed to do in the first game. Kade Stuart and Connor Linton hit home runs. We played Lonoke baseball in that game.
“But in the next game, I told them we were going from facing a guy throwing in the low-70s to one throwing in the mid-80s, and we didn’t make adjustments until the third or fourth inning. They did the right thing pitching him in the second game.”
Foor said he’d figured Mayflower would pose a challenge. The Jackrabbits swept the Eagles last year in the final doubleheader to earn a share of the combined conference title with Central Arkansas Christian.
“I knew it was going to a battle of kids in the dugout, who cheers better, coaches making maneuvers — you name it,” Foor said. “Will Roark threw for us in the first game and threw a great game. Mistakes hurt us.”
In the second, the Jackrabbits jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three, but the Eagles tied it with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth. The tying run in the fifth and winning run in the top of the seventh came via passed balls.
“We lost two of the four by one run, and the 5-0 game was legitimately 2-0 or 3-0,” Foor said of the week’s effort. “It’s not like we’re getting our tails kicked. We’re just young. We’re learning, and that’s the hardest part right now — making them realize it’s not today that matters. It’s the growth you make toward the end and where you’re going to be at the end of the season.”