More Videos: Winning Formula Home
Members of the Maize (Kan.) baseball team were cracking jokes as they stepped off the bus in Lawrence, Kan., site of the Kansas state baseball tournament. Other than a few sweaty faces, there were no signs that the Eagles had just endured a three-hour ride on a bus with no air-conditioning in 90-degree heat. That’s team chemistry.
Later that afternoon, Maize practiced at Lawrence North, which, like the field the Eagles would play on in the tournament, was all turf.
Senior shortstop Ryan McBroom and his fellow infielders took groundball after groundball in an effort to get used to the unfamiliar surface. Going from dirt to turf is a lot easier than going from turf to dirt, according to McBroom, who was on the team that won a state title here last year. While the turf tends to speed up ground balls, the hops are more predictable.
One of the biggest downsides of the artificial surface is that it absorbs heat, which could be a factor with teams required to win three games in two days to capture the title.
The Eagles were focused but loose throughout their two-hour practice at Lawrence North. Outfielder DJ McClure sported a recently shaved mohawk and suggested that some teammates might follow suit that night. That’s team chemistry.
Watch Other Episodes
Watch Episode 1: Staying Hungry
Watch Episode 2: Staying Strong
Watch Episode 3: Mental Approach
Watch Episode 4: Recovery
Watch Episode 5: Winning Tradition
Watch Episode 6: Getting Settled
Watch Episode 7: Scouting Report
Watch Episode 8: Early-Morning Wakeup
Watch Episode 9: Quarterfinal Playoff
Watch Episode 10: Disappointing Finish