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Friday, May 6, 2016

Purdy readies for sectional against Clever

Friday, May 20, 2011

Solid defense. Purdy's Riley Veith blocks the plate to prevent a Diamond runner from scoring during the district championship game. It is these types of plays that Coach Joshua Hughes says his team will need to continue to make if they want to win the sectional game against Clever on Monday. [Photo by Stacy Stevenson]
Eight days ago the Purdy Eagles baseball team needed a sixth inning rally to defeat Clever 4-3 on Senior Night.

On Monday, the Eagles will face the Bluejays with more than just senior pride on the line in the sectional playoffs.

"We are not looking past them at all," said Purdy Head Coach Joshua Hughes. "Clever is a hard-nosed team that is well coached. All teams at this stage of the season are not there by accident. They have earned their way into the playoffs."

Purdy captured the Class 2, District 12 title with a 5-1 victory over Diamond on Saturday. Clever advanced to the sectional round by beating Fordland 4-3 in the District 11 championship.

"Clever is not a real flashy team," said Hughes. "They play solid defense and grind all game long. They don't know how to quit."

Purdy's Kevin Miller will take the mound on Monday for the Eagles.

"Kevin did a great job of pitching in the district tournament," said Hughes. "He will need to keep the ball down, hit the corners and mix his speeds in order for us to be successful."

The Eagles have had a rare week of practice to prepare for the game.

"Lately, when we have had good weather, we have been playing games," said Hughes. "This week, we have been able to work on our defense, which doesn't happen that often during the season.

"We don't have the type of pitchers who can strike out 15 or 18 batters a game," explained Hughes. "We have to be ready to make plays in the field to get runners out. Offensively, we have to get hits and be smart on the base paths."

In the regular season contest, Purdy scored one run in the first inning and Clever countered, scoring three unanswered runs in the next two innings. The Eagles cannot afford to fall behind in this game.

"You don't win very many games constantly coming back from a three-or-four run deficit," said Hughes. "In the playoffs, every run is huge. If we play our game, we will be alright."

First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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