Ten runs in two innings sealed the victory for the Junction City Blue Bronco team Monday night at North Park as they run-ruled the visiting Riley County Falcons 15-3.
“It feels pretty good,” said coach Lance Karmann after the game. “We made some mistakes, but I think we're on the right track as far as working about. The kids were all hustling and we are just happy to be playing baseball.”
Riley County entered the competition short handed due to an injury at practice, fielding eight players in the process. This gave them an unearned out in the second inning, shortening that half of play for them.
The Blues are made up of players ranging from nine to 13-years-old. While considered a young mix, that doesn’t effect Karmann or his assistant coaches.
“Well, we always have a young team,” he said. “When we first came in the league last year we had, we had one 12 year old no 13 year olds and seven or eight 11 year olds and then two 10 year olds and an eight year old — we're used to playing young. We like developing those kids though. The young one happens to be mine and it's kind of by necessity. So he's doing quite well, they're all doing outstanding, other than we've got to get a little more discipline.”
Marshall Karmann was named the starting pitcher during warmups and he went three full innings allowing three runs to score.
While batting, Marshall found gaps late in the game to hit two inside the park homers earning several RBIs in the process.
The Blues were aggressive on the running path during their game. Several players earned their way to first base by either watching ball four sail past or by grabbing a hit on the ground. They didn’t stay there long as they made their way to second and third bases via steals.
“That is exactly what we always preach up,” Karmann said. “Every season I've coached, every team I've ever coached, it's about the fundamentals — it's about small ball and it's about aggressive baseball. We are running on you. You're gonna throw us out, we're gonna make you field the ball, you're gonna throw us out, because we're coming. That's all there is to it. We play very aggressive. We like them to throw, we like them to throw outs on the bases.”
While Marshall has some success on the mound, there were times when he lost control of the ball hitting several batters and walking two.
Karmann said he wasn’t too worried about the pitching as with the rest of the fundamentals, it too will come as the season progresses.
“It is very important and the bad thing is we haven't really worked on it,” he said. “Other then, you know, a couple hours here and there. We've only had four practices. We just got our rosters and everything two weeks ago. But I think that we're looking in pretty good shape for as little preparation as we've had, and these kids have been cooped up in a house since the first of March. So, we are happy.”
Karmann expressed his appreciation to be able to play a season.
“We are very fortunate to be playing, thank goodness for all the sponsors and everybody that makes us possible,” he said. “(I’m) very appreciative. Thank you.”
Junction City Blue returns to action Friday as they face Milford at North Park.