Goshen ready to begin playoffs against Keith

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Goshen Eagles finished the regular season with a 7-15 overall record, now they turn their sights to the postseason and their first round opponent Keith.

Despite their sub-.500 performance this year, the Eagles did enough to claim the second spot in the area standings and head coach Robby Kinsaul believes his team has regained some magic that’s been missing since the beginning of the season.

“We can’t wait to get back on the field,” Kinsaul said. “We had a good practice yesterday. The guys are ready to play and for the opportunity.”

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Keith finished the regular season with an overall record of 7-5, but they were perfect in area play at 4-0. The Eagles have had their run-ins with the state’s best over the years whether it’s been Leroy or J.U. Blacksher. Kinsaul expects a tight contest, but he is happy with the matchup.

“It’s going to come down to the little things, just like any other game,” Kinsaul said. “We are going to have to throw strikes and of course not give any extra outs with walks and errors. We are going to have to throw strikes. If we can do that, we have a chance to be successful.”

The lineup was a strength for the Eagles when things were at their best early in the season. After a brief disappearance in the middle of the season, Kinsaul believes the bats are starting to come back around.

“Our hitting has come around a lot lately,” Kinsaul said. “We hit the ball well at the beginning of the season. We kind of went through a slump when we didn’t hit the ball well at all. I think the second game against Luverne gave us a lot of confidence. We have been hitting the ball really since then.”

There is nothing more important than playing your best baseball heading into the playoffs and coach Kinsaul believes that’s what’s happening with his ball club.

“I think we are,” Kinsaul said. “We started out strong and kind of went through a slump a little bit; not a lot of that was on our guys. A lot of that was on the weather.”

The Eagles have nine seniors on their roster. Many of them have been playing baseball for the Eagles since the seventh grade. The Eagles hope to send them off with a deep playoff run.

“It will be huge,” Kinsaul said. “These guys were leaders on the football and basketball teams and they have done a really good job with the baseball team. It would mean a lot to them and to myself.”

Kinsaul has been at Goshen for 11 years and they have yet to play in the second round in that stretch.

The nine seniors have seen a lot of success during the school year. They helped the football team make it to their first ever semifinal round. They also led the basketball team to Montgomery in the regional tournament. Kinsaul hopes that success will transfer to the diamond.

“That’s very important,” Kinsaul said. “They have been there and they know what it takes to advance. A lot of these guys have played three sports since they got to Goshen. They are successful in the classroom and all that adds up to put them in a good position.”

The Eagles and the Bears will begin play in game one of a best-of-three series today at 1 p.m. with game two following shortly after. If game three is necessary it will be played on Saturday.