SAVANNAH, Mo. – The Savannah baseball team didn’t need any extra motivation coming into the 2019 season.
After winning 18 games, the Savages entered district play as the No. 2 seed in the bracket but the postseason was short lived, falling to Chillicothe in their district opener.
With nearly the full squad back this season, the Savannah squad wanted to learn from the loss.
“They worked really hard in the offseason, in the weight room and in the other sports that they do,” Savannah coach Erich Bodenhausen said. “We were 18-6 last year and I think we came back better than that.”
It’s a team that’s been together for a long time.
Bodenhausen began playing a lot of the current group laden with juniors when they were still underclassmen.
The Savages took their lumps early, but it’s led to the success.
“We’re all pretty close,” junior Chase Spoonemore said. “We all grew up playing baseball together on a local team. That’s helped.”
Through 16 games, the Savages are on pace to eclipse last season’s 18-win mark which was the highest for a Savannah team since 2013.
On Thursday, a 15-0 win over Benton moved Savannah to 15-1 on the season and a Pony Express Tournament championship. The mentality has been simple though for the MEC leaders this season. Just get a little bit better every day.
“We like to compete,” Spoonemore said. “In practice everyday we are competing whether it’s against our JV or ourselves and just want to strive to make each other better.”
The Savages haven’t just won 15 of their first 16 games, they’ve dominated most days they’ve stepped foot on the diamond.
Savannah has won 11 games this season by nine runs or more, scored 10 runs or more 12 times and has held an opponent to three runs or less 12 times.
Savannah’s best player might just depend on the day.
“It’s a different guy every night,” Bodenhausen said. “We talk about that. Every night isn’t your chance to be the hero.”
Four different Savannah sluggers have a batting average of .430 or higher with more than 45 plate appearances. Bodenhausen also has a number of pitchers who he can trust to throw strikes.
“Of all the teams that I’ve had, I’d say this is the most compete team,” Bodenhausen said.
With the district tournament less than a month away, the Savages aren’t getting caught up in a potential postseason run. It’s all about continued improvement.
“Honestly I didn’t know our record for a long time,” junior Noah Bodenhausen said. “I didn’t know how many games we had played. It’s a big thing to just go out and be 1-0 at the end of the day.”