Don't be surprised if you see Free State High's baseball team wearing away uniforms the next time it plays at home.
Because of a scheduling conflict, the Firebirds technically were the visitors during Tuesday's doubleheader with Shawnee Mission Northwest at the FSHS field, winning the nightcap, 5-3, after being blasted in the opener, 15-2.
"What you see in the second game is the fact that we have tough kids," FSHS coach Mike Hill said. "I love these kids. They're a great group. They get kicked around in the first game and they could check it in, but they don't. They demonstrated over and over again their ability to be resilient, to bounce back and play with some guts."
Two of the Firebirds' three wins have come as the visitors while playing at the FSHS field.
The biggest difference between the two games Tuesday was defense. Free State (3-11), which started six sophomores and two juniors in the victory, committed six errors in the opener and had just two gaffes in the nightcap.
"I know that when I get defense, I can throw strikes," FSHS junior left-hander Eric Peterson said. "I don't have to worry about striking everybody out. When I get that, I'm more comfortable on the mound and I can work with myself."
Peterson (1-4) appeared cozy, allowing just two earned runs on two hits in seven innings. Using his fastball, slider and curveball, the southpaw fanned seven while walking three.
"Eric threw his tail off like he always does," Hill said. "I thought that was a great exhibition of pitching."
FSHS junior second baseman Chris Barr was one of the offensive heroes, going 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. He also gave the Firebirds a 4-2 lead with his triple in the top of the fourth.
"I knew that he was going to give me a fastball," Barr said, "because he wasn't getting his curves over. So I felt like it was going to be a fastball and I knew if it was middle-in I could just pull on it."
Senior designated hitter Jake Coffman also had two hits.
In the first game, FSHS senior outfielder Brad Pohl had two of the Firebirds' three hits and both RBIs.
Free State, which plays host to Olathe South at 5 p.m. Friday, snapped a three-game slide.
"That's positive, but also demonstrates a little bit of the frustration because we know we can do it," Hill said.