Team depth limits Melon win chances
Gothenburg returned seven players from last year’s Senior team. Even with that experience, struggles based on Senior numbers continued for the Melons.
At times during the season, and consistently at the end, players from the Juniors were called up to play in key spots for Gothenburg.
Melon manager Brian Bullock said that numbers were low this season and that lack of depth really hurt the Senior team.
Another reason the number of kids out for the team were low is time commitment, Bullock said.
“We practice every night (there isn’t a game) for almost two hours and realize for these kids that’s hard to commit to,” he said.
Lack of depth, and pitching amounted to a 6-12 record for the Seniors. It was an improvement over 2012’s 4-21 mark.
“When you only have two pitchers and other guys who are injured can’t throw, it’s hard to win ball games,” Bullock said.
The Melons had a bit of a rough start, losing five of their first six games.
The Area 6 tournament was the bright spot of the Senior season.
The Melons beat Broken Bow in the first round 12-5. After a loss they beat Minden 5-4 to advance to the semifinals before being eliminated.
“During the season we were trying to make everyone improve each day, win or lose,” Bullock said. “At the end of the season, in the area tournament, the team played its best ball.”
The team finished with 99 total runs for an average of 5.5 per game compared with 188 total runs from opponents for an 10.4 average.
Shortstop Trey Kolbo led a three-way race for the team batting crown and was second in on-base percentage.
In 35 at-bats he had 10 hits for an average of .314. His on-base percentage figured out to .490.
Justin Larson was close behind with a .313 batting average and Levi Walker hit .311.
Larson reached base in half of his at-bats with a .507 on-base percentage.
Walker, batting and Chase Ostergard shared the team lead with 11 hits apiece.
Walker also led the team with RBIs, driving in 14.
Justin Larson was the Melon ace for the second year in a row.
Larson faced 214 batter in 402/3 innings striking out 53 batters and giving up 49 total runs for an ERA of 5.09.
He also led the team with 14 stolen bases and scored 19 runs.
Ross Ostendorf and Ostergard each contributed 18 runs.
None of the Melons made it into the all-time Top 10 statistics.
Bullock said even with the record the way it was, the kids showed they love to play baseball.
“They didn’t quit one time all year,” he said.