Absent victories, BSHS baseball players gain needed experience in summer ball
Scott Lero has a delightful quandary on his hands.
The Bonner Springs baseball coach has enough players to form only one summer team, whereas other coaches can form two teams: one with freshmen and sophomores and the other with upperclassmen.
It’s not the worst thing, however, as freshmen are able to gain varsity experience.
“The wins aren't showing up yet, but we are continuing to get better,” Lero said. “They're learning. Each game there is something new."
The thing he is stressing more than anything this summer is competing. He cares about wins and losses in the sense that he wants to win ball games, but it’s not the end of the world. Competing is the biggest struggle with which Lero said the program has been faced.
This weekend at the Lansing Tournament, the Braves dropped all three games by a combined score of 40-15.
A majority of the Braves’ runs came in a 17-14 loss to the Topeka Senators.
"After the third game of the tournament we were up 7-0 after the first inning,” Lero said. “It was just a snowball effect.”
Everything from competing to stopping the bleeding to winning is a learning process
Lero isn’t keeping a stat book. He isn’t tracking averages, walks or errors. He just trots out his players and wants them to get repetition.
“They're doing the right things to head in that direction of being a winning program,” he said. “The wins just aren't there right now. They're going to get there eventually."
BSHS’ growth was stunted somewhat this spring. The weather didn’t do any favors to allow the Braves to get simulated game reps. Lero thinks they’re behind the curve, but should catch up by the end of summer baseball.
He has seen growth from every one of his players.
Lero has put Bobby Crowley in some tough positions as a pitcher and he’s gone out and thrown strikes.
Meanwhile, Collin Sechrist has also matured quite a bit this summer, Lero said.
“He’s getting good at bats,” Lero said. “He’s showing good balance, good hands, and good strike zone discipline.”
The Glenn Twins — Thaddeus and Roman — keep improving. They’ve started to develop a leadership role.
Lero said Ross Hogan is crushing the ball. Every time he’s at the plate he’s making good, solid contact.
This team isn’t built on speed like it was last season, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to shy away from it’s aggressive tendencies.
“We believe you’re going to get more than you’re going to give,” Lero said.
His players have the green light when he gives them the signal. The only way players will get better jumps is by having the real-game situations.
The Braves can simulate things in practice, but nothing compares to a competitive, pressure situation. In that moment, they either succeed or fail. When they succeed, they know what it feels like and they want to do it again. Or they fail and it’s a learning process.
“There is no better teacher than the game itself,” Lero said.
The Braves only have a few more weeks before the season ends in mid-July with the K-7 Tournament.
In that time, the Braves will focus on one thing.
“Compete: That’s the missing link right now,” Lero said.