Numbers an issue for 2012 Melons
The Gothenburg Melons faced a problem with numbers from the first day of practice.
There weren’t enough players to field a Junior team in 2012 and even with only one squad of Seniors, there sometimes weren’t enough guys to fill all the spots on the field with a batter in the box.
That meant an awful lot of shagging balls in the summer heat.Occasionally during games, the Senior Melons didn’t even have an extra player in the dugout to substitute in case of an injury.
Manager Brian Bullock said there are so many summer options for teenagers these days that it’s difficult for kids to make the time commitment necessary for American Legion baseball.
With camps and jobs and families, it’s a struggle Legion teams all across the state have been forced to cope with, Bullock said.
The low number of Gothenburg players was coupled with a handful who saw the field for the first time this year.
The combination led to a less-than-desirable 4-21 record for the Seniors.
The Melons opened with six straight losses before picking up a pair of victories against Overton and Lexington’s Juniors.
After another string of 11 losses, Gothenburg managed the other two wins against Overton and Cambridge.
The team finished with 83 total runs for an average of 3.3 per game compared with 281 total from opponents for an 11.2 average.
Shortstop Brandon Wlakiuk led the Melons in batting average and on-base percentage.
He had 73 plate appearances, Wlasiuk had 57 at-bats with 16 hits for a batting average of .281. His on-base percentage figured out to .424.
Wlasiuk also led the Seniors in stolen bases with 10.
Trent Good was also a Melon batting leader, recording 15 singles and four doubles for a team-high 19 total hits.
Good also scored the most runs with 12.
Chase Ostergard was another batting leader for Gothenburg. In his team-high 83 plate appearances and 73 at-bats, Ostergard earned 14 RBIs.
Justin Larson spent by far the most time on the mound for the Melons. Larson pitched against 315 batters in 521/3 innings, tossing 59 strikeouts while giving up 97 hits for an ERA of 7.35.
Trey Kolbo finished with a better ERA of 1.84 but he only got to pitch in half as many games due to injury.
None of the Melons made it into the all-time Top 10 statistics this year.
Bullock said he’s confident the Melons will have two squads next summer, both Seniors and Juniors.
Roughly half of the Senior team will be eligible to play again in 2013.