The Eldorado High School baseball team certainly took a step up in competition this week, playing at Rent One Park and taking on the likes of Lockport Township, Warren Township and Cary Grove.
The competition got a little stiffer Thursday when the Eagles played St. Charles North and much like the previous contest, it was a tough-luck loss for EHS against a school sizeably bigger as the Eagles fell 13-3.
The silver lining in the loss however is that Eldorado exhibited much more patience at the plate, which led to the team scoring its first runs of the event at Rent One Park.
First year head coach Richard Ozment said that seeing those first couple of runs cross the plate was a big confidence booster for his kids who have not only battled against school's who lowest enrollment is 2,000 and the biggest being 4,400, but brought compliments from the opposition.
"St. Charles North head coach (Todd Genke) commended our kids for competing and commended the kids for wanting to come out and play against this type of competition. The kids knew this was going to be a tough four games, but I'm proud of them for the way they came out."
The Stars took a quick 7-0 lead after one half inning of play as St. Charles North jumped on Eldorado stater Stanton Hathaway. Hathaway lasted just one inning, giving up four hits and three walks on 41 pitches.
Jordan Pilkington led off the first inning for Eldorado with a single. Brennan Unthank advanced Pilkington to second after grounding out to third and Pilkington moved to third after Devin Aldridge reached base via an error by the Stars' shortstop.
Dylan Roberts came through with the RBI single up the middle, scoring Pilkington and Garrison Hathaway followed suit by scoring Aldridge after reach base on a fielder's choice.
St. Charles North responded with another four runs in the second inning as the Eagles swapped for Adam Ninness. Ninness went 2/3 of an inning allowing four runs and walked four.
Braden Van Zant repaved Ninness and worked effectively for 3 1/3 innings, before Eldorado turned the ball over for the last time to Dylan Riddle who worked the fifth and final inning.
Eldorado was able to get one more run in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Brennan Unthank laced a double down the left field line, scoring Pilkington who had reached base after a poked single into left field.
Ozment wasn't afraid to make a call for arms on Thursday and he feels that until the weather warms up and he has a better idea of who can do what, it will be something that is more by design than by necessity.
"It'll come around," Ozment said of the pitching. "It's been awful cold and not only should the bats warm up, but I'm sure the pitchers' arms will warm up as well. We have a lot of good kids, about eight or nine that we like to throw up there on the mound."
Page 2 of 2 - Eldorado is scheduled to play at Carrier Mills Monday at 4:30 p.m., followed by hosting Johnston City on Tuesday and then traveling to Marion on Wednesday. The Eagles will then play at Hamilton County before hosting Du Quoin next Saturday at 11 a.m.
Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.