Friday, July 25, 2014

West Franklin baseball goes through growing pains

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 6/3/2013

The West Franklin baseball players have been successful growing up during the summer seasons.

The high school program has been up and down through the years. The one thing that has eluded them is success in the postseason.

The West Franklin baseball players have been successful growing up during the summer seasons.

The high school program has been up and down through the years. The one thing that has eluded them is success in the postseason.

Danny Homer, who was hired to take over the Falcon high school program, saw a need to play better competition during the summer.

Homer decided to join the American Legion program. West Franklin will play in the senior and junior divisions.

West Franklin joined the Kansas Amateur Baseball Association, which is a succesful Legion league.

“We are really young to be playing in the 19 and under,” Homer said. “Everybody is under 18 except for three. It is good experience for them. A lot more competition than were are used to. It will make them better.”

West Franklin made their Legion debut this weekend in the Ottawa wood bat tournament at Orlis Cox. West Franklin lost all four games.

“We had some bright spots,” Homer said. “We had some good pitching. We ran out of gas.

“We will take our lumps right now. Hopefully, it will pay off in the end. We could have won two games pretty easy. You have to get over that hump.”

West Franklin lost to Iola (9-1), Rock Creek (6-5), Girard (5-2) and Rock Creek (10-3).

The core of the team are players entering their junior year of high school.

“I have had them since T-ballers,” Homer said of those players. “They have been a good mesh of kids. It is adding the upper and lower. It will work out. They will be competitive.”

West Franklin will play several games in the lower division with all those under 18 and then add those three older players for the upper division games.

“I am glad these kids get to play a little bit more,” Homer said of his older players.

Homer said he is happy so far about joining the Legion program.

“We have been real successful in our summer baseball until we got to the postseason,” Homer said. “We were good through districts.

“When we got to the state level, we were always in those games. This is going to help us figure out how to win those. That is why we are in the tougher division. We will be a tougher team for it.

“Our goal right now is to stay in games. We have done that.”

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