Legion baseball team waits for weather to cooperate
The Baldwin City American Legion baseball team has practiced for two months to get ready for their season. The only thing they cannot prepare for is the weather. Their first two games were postponed because of rain.
"They are anxious to get on the field," said first-year coach Chris Rose, a student manager for the Johnson County baseball team the last two years. "Since they don't have high school baseball, this is this is the first chance for them to compete this spring."
Wednesday night the team drove to Iola for the opening game of the season. Behind a four-run first inning they were in the lead 4-3 when the rain came in the bottom of the second.
"It was good for them to get out and play," said Rose. "The good first inning will be something to build on."
The next game scheduled for the team was on Saturday against Garnett, but it was also rained out. The team is building off of two wins in last year's zone tournament, which were the most wins in the tournament in a long time for a Baldwin Legion team.
The team has three 18 year olds in Adam Guss, who will play baseball at Johnson County next year, Jason Rose and Matt Woods from Wellsville.
Rose said those three as well as Evan Durnal will be the leaders of the team this year.
"We have a young team and those four have been teaching the younger guys a lot," he said.
According to Rose, the strength of the team will be its speed in the field and on the base pads.
A possible weakness for the team will be its lack of depth in pitching.
"We only go about four or five deep in pitching," said Rose. "Woods and Seth Johnson will be doing most of the pitching."
Looking ahead in the season, Rose said the team will have a big test during a two-week span in which they play Ozawkie, Ottawa, Princeton and Silver Lake. All four teams have high school programs that were ranked in the state during the high school season.
"We want to play at least .500 ball," said Rose. "Teams in the past have struggled to be over .500 and that is something we want to improve on."
The team will travel to Ozawkie on Wednesday to play at 6:30 p.m. Their next game is a double header at Garnett on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.