SILVER LAKE, Kan. (WIBW) - The Silver Lake Eagles hope they're hitting their stride as they head into the 3A state baseball tournament this week.
Coach Alan Cunningham described the season as a "work in progress," rebuilding a team that graduated, in particular, all but three innings pitched.
The 3A runners-up last year have been to state 22 of the past 23 seasons. They believe that tradition helped them persevere. Cunningham says the younger players became acclimated to the expectations and the level at which they're expected to compete.
Senior outfielder Isaac Pridey says the attitude starts with Cunningham and assistant coach C.J. Hamilton, who continue to teach players the right things to do to win. From there, he says, the older players are able to pass the lessons to younger players to keep the cycle going.
Also adding a spark late in the year is the return of all-state senior outfielder Dailin Kruger. He returned the final week of the regular season from post-football knee surgery. He says it was tough to watch the roller-coaster early season and not be able to help, but he says he did get a unique view of watching the team grow and develop, which he says make it fun to get to play with them.
Undefeated Council Grove is the top seed in 3A, with the Eagles' Mideast League foe Rock Creek seed fourth. Silver Lake is 7th. Play opens Thursday at Washburn's Falley Field.
Hear more from Cunningham, Pridey and Kruger in the included video.
Posted by Melissa Brunner