Pittsburg prepares to face SEK rival Fort Scott in home opener

The Purple Dragons are 3-3 to start the season.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg Purple Dragons will finally play a home game at Jaycee Ballpark on Friday – after beginning the season with six straight games on the road.

“We love it,” says Pittsburg head coach Keith Matlock on playing at Jaycee, “There’s not many places better to play a baseball game. Especially when the weather is nice and you have a ton of people there. I have a feeling it’s going to have a lot of energy to it.”

Pittsburg will face SEK rival Fort Scott Friday in their first home game.

It will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Tigers topped the Purple Dragons 11-4 in Fort Scott in their first meeting last week.

“They’re just a hard-nosed team,” Matlock says of his league rivals, “I’ve known coach Regan for a long time. The Fort Scott program is always well-coached. They love to play Pittsburg. It’s a rivalry and all of that stuff. They’re not going to beat themselves so you really have to go out and make sure that you take care of your stuff.”

The Purple Dragons are 3-3 in their first six games.

Pittsburg has wins over Chanute, KC-Piper and Field Kindley – and their three losses are to Fort Scott, Blue Valley North and Tonganoxie.

“I think we’ve gotten better each game. I think we’ve started swinging it really well,” Matlock says, “We have to get better on the mound, and I have no doubt that we will. Early on, everybody is a thrower because they have their nerves and everything else, but we’ve talked to them about getting settled in and becoming pitchers now.”

Junior Jackson Turnbull has gotten off to a hot start at the plate for Pittsburg.

In the team’s first six games, Turnbull is batting .524 with 5 doubles, a home run and 8 RBI.

“He’s a big part of our offense. He’s starting to get his timing down and make adjustments. He knows there’s pressure on him. For any kid that age, you’re going to press a little bit early on when you have that pressure. You can tell he’s getting settled in now and has an understanding of what he needs to do.”

Friday’s game will begin at 4:30 PM at Jaycee Ballpark in Pittsburg.