Eureka baseball flying high as Hornets head toward postseason
Hornets have won 13 straight games
EUREKA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - With a win over Bradley-Bourbonnais on Wednesday, Eureka baseball clinched their fourth straight 20-win season. When asked what his team does well and what has given them those 20 wins, head coach Dane Wear had a very simple answer.
“They hit,” Wear said. “They don’t give up. They hit.”
That’s been the key to success for the Eureka Hornets this year: hit the ball hard and score runs. Eureka is averaging better than 9 runs per game this season. They’ve got some big boppers up top but it’s the depth of their offense 1 through 9, upperclassmen to underclassmen that has them on a 13-game winning streak.
“They’re coming up huge,” senior infielder JJ Boles said of the younger players on the team. “Bottom of the order is what started that one big inning and those are the young guys, so they do a great job.”
″Our big innings started when the bottom of the lineup rolled through and came up with some big hits against their guy,” Coach Wear said. “They just do it and it’s fun to watch.”
Thanks to that potent lineup, the Hornets are a perfect 10-0 in conference play this season and have put themselves in prime position to take home an HOI title.
“I think we do a great job working as a team,” Boles said. “We always want, our first goal all season is to win conference and I think we’re doing a great job of that right now.”
And the best part for the Hornets? They’re still getting better.”
“I mean, from the start we weren’t doing that great,” junior Slater Wilcox said. “But now every single day we’re getting better and better so I think it’s our work ethic and how we work together.”
Right now the Hornets are focused on conference, but you better bet they’re also excited for the postseason. After losing a sectional final to U-High last year, Eureka is ready to make an even deeper state tournament run
“Yeah, we definitely want to get this one this year,” Boles said. “We made a few mistakes last year but I think we’re focusing on how to get better now and we don’t want to peak til the end and I think we’re doing a good job of that.”
The Hornets are confident they can make this a very special season for Eureka baseball
“Oh yeah, I told them and I told you earlier that we’re going to State,” Wilcox said. “As I said earlier, I see this team getting better and better every day so I really think we can go to State.”
And they intend on continuing on the strong tradition of Hornets baseball.
“That’s what we strive for every year, win a regional championship and then see how far you can go into the postseason,” Coach Wear said. “We’ve been able to do that 7 out of the last 10 years or something like that so we really pride ourselves on we want to get into the postseason and we want to go deep.”
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