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Upward trajectory

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Upward trajectory

The best is yet to come from Pleasant Hope High School baseball this summer, according to coach Page Jones.

The Pirates are 9-3 as of Wednesday, June 24, and sitting firmly in the upper half of the Heart of Ozarks League through the final week of summer play. 

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Third baseman Colton Coffey tries to scoop up a grounder Thursday. 

Pleasant Hope bested Walnut Grove in a doubleheader Tuesday, June 23, winning 23-3 and 5-0 in a road contest the team only had a few days to prepare for.

Pleasant Hope had originally been set to take on Fair Play on Tuesday. 

“It has been really hectic for us this month,” Jones said. 

But, he said, he feels like his team is continuing to improve. 

“We’re 9-3 on the summer, and I feel like we haven't played our best baseball yet,” Jones said.

And, that could mean his team is peaking at just the right time, Jones said, if it can string together a set of good performances.

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Pleasant Hope’s Jeff Tanner throws from the mound during the Pirates’ first game against Miller on Thursday, June 25.

He said his team will play in the Springfield Holiday Tournament Friday through Sunday, June 26-28.

According to the team booster club, Pleasant Hope plays at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Friday against Willard, 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Kickapoo and 4:45 pm Saturday against Browns Baseball Academy in Rolla.

Jones said he’s optimistic as his team heads into the final stretch of the season and looks ahead even further. 

The tournament is in some ways the culmination of what the team has worked for this summer, Jones said. But, he added, there’s also more on the horizon.  

“We have shown signs of how good we could be this next spring with some solid play,” he said.

While teams in the Heart of the Ozarks league will play a four-day tournament starting Monday, June 29, for an overall title, Pleasant Hope won’t take part. 

League organizer David Francka confirmed the Pirates had declined to play. 

Of Polk County teams, sixth-ranked Pleasant Hope trails only third-placed Marion C. Early in league standings. The Panthers were 7-3 Wednesday. 

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Outfielder Ashton Bair lobs the ball back into play. 

Undefeated Skyline leads the league. 

Jones pointed out the Pirates have struggled with consistency throughout the season especially and on both sides of the ball. 

“COVID-19 has been tough, because we are a team that likes to really work on our skill sets, with workouts indoors and out,” he said. “With that being said, we are trying to round back into shape in a short period of time.”

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Christopher Agee, left, and Colton Highfill, right, try for an out at second base. 

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