It was a challenging first weekend for the Junction City Brigade, as

they posted an 0-3 record and allowed an average of 12.3 runs in those

league games.

But even after the weekend, head coach Derek Francis isn’t too

worried, as some players are still getting into a rhythm.

“Most of (the pitchers) haven’t thrown in two or three weeks since

school ball finished,” he said after Sunday’s 15-1 loss to the Kansas

City Monarchs.

Junction City was swept by Topeka, 13-3, 17-14, and 7-4. One hindrance

Francis noticed was his pitchers’ struggles to throw first-pitch

strikes. But that will improve with a regular workload, he believes.

“I think that’s going to come as guys start to knock the rust off,” he said.

But there are indications that the Brigade can score runs — and plenty

of them. The Brigade averaged seven runs a game in their three-game

set with Topeka; in the 17-14 loss Saturday, the Brigade scored at

least three runs in at least three different innings.

“We’ve definitely shown signs that we can hit and put up some runs,”

Francis said.

Individually, Carson Sader had two multi-hit games and Parker Dunn had

six RBI in the first two games. Others, such as Aaron Samaniego and

Rustin Hiebert, had strong weekends as well.

Another thing that has Francis hopeful is the makeup of his team.

Right now, he believes there are still some players “on their way” who

can help.

“We’re still waiting on some kids that I think can really help us,

both on the mound and offensively,” he said. “Once we get our whole

team here, that’ll definitely help us out.”

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