Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2005

Reds continue gaining valuable experience

June 23, 2005

Eight games into the season, the Lansing Reds are winless.

That doesn't mean progress hasn't been made, however, Reds manager Michael Smith said.

Smith points directly to the Reds' 7-5 loss Thursday to Post 23 as evidence that his squad is coming along. Sure, the Reds were run-ruled 8-0 in game one, but the second game against Post 23 (6-1) gave Smith plenty of confidence that his players are getting better.

"Everybody was up. It was a whole different attitude," Smith said of the difference between the first and second games.

There was another difference, too. The Reds' players are gaining more experience on the ball field. That's an area most of the squad was lacking three weeks ago.

"A lot of these kids haven't played ball in years," Smith said. "I was talking to the father of one of my players, and (his son) hadn't played ball in five years. A lot of these guys are still learning the game. Even if they've played in the past, it's an entirely different skill level the older you get."

The Reds' skill level has improved immensely in the past week, Smith said. His squad's few veterans have elevated their game as well. Logan Ryan and Matt McMillin have come through with timely hits. The addition of former Lansing Huskies pitcher Danny Wyatt has helped. So has the arrival of Chase Horseman, a Lansing High School freshman-to-be who recently returned to town from a family vacation. Horseman threw four strong innings Sunday during the second game of the Reds' doubleheader loss to Tonganoxie Team 1.

Tongie cruised in the first game 18-0 and then pulled away late in the nightcap, 9-0.

"He was making the jump from 40-foot to 60-foot (distance from the pitching mound to the plate), and he made a really good adjustment," Smith said.

The Reds will try to pick up their first victory at 6 p.m. Friday in a doubleheader against Geiger Ready-Mix at Lansing High School.

"It's going to click," Smith said. "The last couple of games I've seen signs of things starting to click. I think in the next couple of games everything's going to fall into place. I'm not saying we're going to go out and beat everybody, but we're going to play fundamentally strong baseball."

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