Cavalry ready for a break
A Fourth of July break is exactly what the Lansing Cavalry needs.
The Cavalry, a AAA American Legion baseball team, lost four of its last six games heading into its doubleheader at Ottawa on Wednesday night, and the slumping squad found itself in dire need of a little time for rest and relaxation.
At least six of the squad's 14 players have been nursing some sort of injury during recent weeks, so playing six games during the course of Saturday, Sunday and Monday offered no time for the Cavalry to recover.
Injuries and exhaustion have been the primary problems, so a few days off would allow the squad to get healthy again, left fielder Mike Bayless said.
"We should be OK," Bayless said. "Arms are getting better and injuries are ending. A lot of our players that have been out lately are getting back."
Among the players with nagging injuries or aches and pains are Tom Kohl (shoulder), Conn Blakley (shoulder), Jeff Terrill (hand and back), Cody Mohan (shoulder), Lonnie Hansen (arm) and Josh Coleman (finger and shoulder).
Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said he accepts some of the blame for injuries that may be the result of players being overworked. He said keeping a small roster limited players' opportunities to take a day off.
"That's honestly one of the really bad things about me keeping the numbers so low," he said. "I would've really liked to have had a few more guys, but I'm having trouble finding guys that are willing to come in and play part-time and still be able to accept a limited role. I would love to have two or three more guys, but I need guys to come in and fill spots when I want to give a guy a day off."
Hanson said he understood why finding players willing to accept a limited role could be tough.
"To be honest with you, guys that want to come in and be on varsity next year do need to be playing more than that," Hanson added. "so it's kind of a Catch-22."
Hanson said that despite the recent losses he was pleased with the effort of some of his younger players. He praised the pitching performance of sophomore-to-be Kyle Hutchison on Monday night, and he has been increasingly pleased with the efforts of Johnny Stratton and Matt McMillin.
The Cavalry (10-7) will return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Basehor. Lansing swept the first doubleheader between the two teams on June 22 and Hanson said he doesn't anticipate his players having any trouble getting fired up for the rematch.
"I think they'll be up for Basehor," Hanson said. "I don't think we'll have trouble getting them up for that."