By Justin Hunter
CHURUBUSCO – The expectations for Eagles baseball is as big as any other sport at Churubusco High School and this past spring season helped raise the bar for the sluggers.
Jason Pierce finished his second season as head coach. His team finished 11-14 this past season, after going 18-8 in his rookie season. Pierce has no problem finding the silver lining. Besides, the Eagles were 3-9 at one point of the season.
“The best thing about this season was watching them grow. I think we did a really good job of doing that,” said Pierce. “I knew coming in that a .500 season would be an accomplishment with how our team was. We had a lead in just about every game, even the ones we lost.”
The Eagles found their backs against the wall with a 3-9 start late April, but they rallied to nearly a 0.5 season.
“We had to find our identity, which we did as the season went on,” he said. “They never quit and they kept competing.”
The baseball team was led by a pair of seniors – shortstop Brandon Jencks and at center field, Colin Mullins. Both players also pitched to get the Eagles out of tough innings. Jencks made all-conference for the second season, which may not have come easy since he switched from second base, to shortstop over the off-season.
“He was always willing to do what’s best for the team,” Pierce said. “He was a good role model in that way. Both of our seniors didn’t give up at any time and were good role models to the younger players.”
The highlight of the season came late against Adams Central, when freshman Jake Fulk threw a no hitter to beat the sixteenth ranked team in 2A.
“When we take care of ourselves and not focus too much on what the other team is doing, that’s when we play our best,” he said. “We finally realized what we’re capable.”
Pierce is hopeful that the Eagles will start next season where they left off.
“We had a good year overall. I’m proud of our kids and I have hope that we’ll have confidence to build on and we’ll win our conference and win a sectional.”