Troy Buchanan’s boys baseball season concluded May 14 in a game against Hickman, wrapping their year in the semi-finals match of the district tourney.
Troy had just come off a win in the previous round, where a late-game swing by Dallas King in the seventh inning turned the tide and let the Trojans win 8-7 over Battle.
May 14’s game was a blindingly fast match, with both teams pressing heavy on defense and each quickly racking up outs on the other. Hickman got in a run early on, and Troy held them to a single point until the bottom of the fourth, when Hickman broke the floodgates and got a string of five runs before Troy clamped back down. The Trojans held Hickman in place after that, but couldn’t make up the difference, losing 6-0.
After the game, coach Andrew Elmendorf said he was “proud” of his team.
“They’ve put a lot of time in over the last four years, a lot of work to get our program to where it is,” Elmendorf said. “Winning conference three years in a row, making it to the finals last year, they’ve done a lot of work, put in a lot of time.” The season really begins far before those first spring games; the boys begin training as early as November.
“You start early and the games come fast,” Elmendorf said. “Once you get rolling, they go right out of the gate with our tournament – five games in a week – and then boom, you get right into conference. You put all that work in, and then it seems like its over, that’s what hits you a little bit more in the end.”
The young players really “came along,” Elmendorf said, and the seniors showed their leadership as the season progressed, though the team’s “nemesis” was always that they were either on-fire at bat, or not.
“We either go, put up a bunch of runs or we don’t at all,” Elmendorf said. The team had a number of blowouts, like a 21-6 win over Parkway South on April 22 or a 15-1 win over Holt on April 17, but just as often the boys had to play strategically to scratch out their runs to stay in games.
Seniors Bailey Ford, Dallas King, Brady Dolde, Will Otte, Brandon Smith, Nick Gales, Dane Stuckey and Sammy Bennet graduated on May 12; the team has an upcoming awards ceremony and dinner where the those graduates will say their good byes and pass the torch to the team’s juniors.
“Close group of boys,” Elmendorf said about his team. “They do everything together outside of baseball. They’re really good friends, they’ve come through this program.”
The boys are fun to be around, put out good energy on the field and “always work,” Elmendorf said.
“It was a good season, short of what our goals were, but you tip your hat in baseball, that happens sometimes – the boys worked hard, I’m proud of them and our coaching staff for putting all the time they put in too,” he said.