Eldon baseball spectators thought they were at a bingo game gone wrong when the Mustangs unveiled a new way to communicate on the diamond this spring. Shouts of "two-five-seven," and "three-one-three," poured out of the dugout before every pitch. The numbers are not the result of incompetent bingo calling, but of a audible communication system between a baseball coach and his battery. First year skipper Broc Silvers installed the numerical signals this year.


Eldon baseball spectators thought they were at a bingo game gone wrong when the Mustangs unveiled a new way to communicate on the diamond this spring.

Shouts of "two-five-seven," and "three-one-three," poured out of the dugout before every pitch. The numbers are not the result of incompetent bingo calling, but of a audible communication system between a baseball coach and his battery. First-year skipper Broc Silvers installed the numerical signals this year.

"Everybody thought it was going to take forever, my (assistant) coaches weren't even on board with it. They thought I was insane," Silvers laughed. "But I decided that was the best way for us to call pitches."

Silvers borrowed some of his defensive play-calling skill from the Mustangs football team. All of the Eldon players wear wristbands so that they understand what the three numbers mean when they hear them.

Silvers doesn't have to adjust his cap, grab his earlobe, dust off his jersey, or clap his hands twice to get his point across.

The new system resulted in better communication among the Mustangs.

"Kids were missing signs so we went to a wristband. We've got three numbers that we call out," Silvers said. "I honestly think it's almost foolproof. I'm not saying we don't miss signs, because sometimes we don't hear very well, but it has been a nice addition to us. It's easy."

Eldon has one set of numbers that position players use when they bat. Pitchers have another set of numbers to receive instructions from the dugout.

Silvers says the Mustangs have four different pitching charts and sets of signals to use, depending on which pitcher is on the mound. For example, freshman left-hander Sam Lincoln has his own set of numbers to communicate with catcher John Hall and the Eldon coaches. Lincoln's signals are different than those of fellow southpaw Dustin Headrick because the two lefties have different pitches in their respective arsenals.

Eldon had a losing record entering this week's Tri-County Conference Tournament, but the record has more to do with playing against good opponents than it does communication breakdowns. Some opponents tried to disrupt the Mustangs' signals with a barrage of mathematical gibberish.

"The only time I've ever had any problems with it is when the other teams are trying to yell numbers to try to confuse us, but then you always have the hand signals," Silvers said.

The rookie manager says his team's goals for the rest of the season include reducing errors, increasing hitting production, and playing with more passion. Eldon will play in the Class 3, District 9 tournament set to begin May 14.

"Hopefully, by the the time we get there we are playing more efficiently and playing with more energy as a team," Silvers said.

The seven-team district includes Versailles and Osage. The Mustangs are taking a one-game-at-a-time approach to their conference and district tournaments.

"If we can get to Day 3—the championship day—anything can happen then," Silvers said. "Everybody seems to play up in championship."