The Sedalia Bombers ended up one game short of a MINK League South Division title, but manager Jud Kindle said the team used the summer as a good learning tool.
“I thought they did a great job at growing up over the summer and understand the work ethic that goes into playing every day like that,” he said.
After five games, the Bombers were 2-3 and averaged 2.8 runs per game, but ended the season averaging more than 4.5 per game.
“I thought offensively down the stretch we were a lot better than we were early,” Kindle said. “We really struggled early with the bats and scoring runs, but at the end we were figuring out ways to get runs in.”
The player Kindle said really helped the effort as the season went on was outfielder Zack Weigel.
“He really got better in the outfield tracking balls down,” he said. “He got a lot better at the plate with his hitting and his approach. I’d say he’s probably our most improved player.”
Weigel, who is a sophomore at Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J., led the team with a .344 batting average, and was second in the MINK League with 52 hits and fourth in the league with 16 steals.
Kindle said he was proud of how much his pitching staff improved over the summer, too.
“They grew a lot this year,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, they were more just throwers, and at the end of the year, they were pitchers. I felt like (catcher) Cody Webster really helped them grow as pitchers, and learn how to pitch the right pitches in the right spots and understand the game a little bit better.”
Sedalia had a team ERA of 2.33 and led the league with 330 strikeouts.
“Instead of just raring back and throwing as hard as they could, they were actually pitching,” Kindle said. “Hitting spots and being smart about what pitches they threw in certain situations.”
Robert Greco, who will be a senior at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb., led the team with 62 strikeouts, 59 innings pitched and led Bombers starters with a 1.98 ERA.
Kindle said he would love to see some of these Bombers return in 2014.
“We will give them about a month or a month and a half off before we go recruiting again,” he said. “I’d like to have a few of them back for sure.”