Coming off a 16-1 regular season, the BMS 8th grade baseball team is bursting with potential

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sitting at 16-1 and a team batting average of .415 sounds like the statistic line of an MLB team that is off to an incredible start. More realistically, it sounds like a great collegiate program. Add undefeated in the region, and it starts to sound like a good high school program.

That record belongs to none of the above, it belongs to the Bainbridge 8th grade baseball team.

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With a solo loss to Lee County West, the Bearcats have cruised through their season thanks to rock solid batting and strong pitching.

“We’ve got a strong group of kids, its kind of a challenge to make the lineup every game,” said head coach Dan Klages. “We’ve got 14 players who can all play and all contribute and I can only play about 10 or so, but that’s a good problem to have.”

How have they done it? Having seven kids with batting averages hitting between .450 and .700 with runners in scoring position can provide the offense needed to compete in every game. No matter what the score, even if Bainbridge is trailing late in the game, their hitting can dig them out of any hole, according to Klages.

Depth at pitching has also provided them with the kickstart on defense that they need to win games.

While his team has willed their way to a one-loss season, their true potential has yet to be discovered. Being only 8th graders, they have a bright future ahead of them, but the key to their development long term is in their work ethic according to Klages.

“The key, I think, for this group going forward will be how much their willing to work. Their competition is going to get tougher than what it is now,” said Klages.

“The parents of the kids have a role to in pushing the team mentality over the individual accomplishment.”

Klages attributes his team’s success to consistent depth at each position. What goes hand in hand with that is talent.

On a team full of talented individuals, Klages states the importance of the team mentality.

“It takes a lot of good individual players to make a good team, but the emphasis I try to put on is how important it is to be a good teammate,” said Klages. “What’s going to determine whether these guys make a really good high school baseball team one day, is how well they’re able to play together and get along.”

The abundance of potential is exciting about this group of players, clutch batting, solid pitching, and good defense are all things that make up a good baseball team. However, much is left to be seen as these players mature.

Their impressive regular season is over, but the Bearcats take the field again on March 27 at the Bearcat Diamonds for the middle school tournament.