Porters Chapel scraping by with depleted summer roster|[6/25/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 27, 2005

From Ernest Bowker

After the Porters Chapel Eagles assembled in front of their dugout Thursday night and got their fielding assignments, one of them chirped up.

“We have 10 tonight?” catcher Blake Purvis said, referring to the number of players on hand.

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It’s been that kind of summer for the Eagles. Besieged by transfers, injuries and schedule conflicts, they’ve barely been able to scrape together nine players for most games. And the ones who have shown up are either inexperienced junior varsity players or playing out of position.

It’s all led to the kind of thumping and gallows humor displayed Thursday, when the Eagles were routed by Louisiana Class 2A champion Ouachita Christian. Before the game, PCA coach Randy Wright talked with the opposing coach about when restaurants closed, and the Eagles’ players laughed at how overmatched they were against the Louisiana powerhouse.

“We’re taking this summer and just trying to stay in the swing of things, and get a little playing in to stay in shape,” Wright said. “We’ve had a lot of guys that have had to work and a couple that have transferred … The guys that are here are getting a chance to play baseball, and that’s the reason we do this. Any baseball is better than no baseball.”

The team the Eagles fielded on Thursday – or most of June, for that matter – bears little resemblance to the one that reached the second round of the Academy-A playoffs a month earlier, or the one that’s expected to contend for a state title next spring.

Only two regular starters from last season’s team were on the field, and none started the game in their normal positions. The lineup has been affected by a series of events in the past month, as well as normal schedule conflicts: