TROY – Franklin Monroe baseball season didn’t end the way they wanted as it came to an end in the District Semi-Finals at the hands of fellow Cross County Conference foe Newton by the score of 6-0.
But when they look back and reflect on the season it will be remembered for being a successful season for a few reasons.
With a number of seniors graduating from last season there was concern the Jets might not have enough numbers to even field a team in 2019.
Athletic Director Tyler Rhodus took over the head coaching position and went to work on remedying that situation and successfully found the numbers needed to put together a team.
“We had 7 new starters this year and 9 new players and we won 15 ball games, those 15 wins in a season is the most since 2009 for Franklin Monroe. When you have a lot of new faces it’s a testament to the guys. They were close knit, cared about one another and about the game. They battled and grinded and wanted to get better. As a coach that’s the kind of team you want to be around. They took coaching really well, they applied it and got better. Being 3 or 4 games under 500 late in the year and then finishing 3 games above 500 proves that,” Rhodus stated.
“We made a couple mental mistakes, one where they laid a good bunt down and I thought we could have got an out but didn’t and they made a couple timely hits and there were a couple of other plays we could have executed … but all in all we played a pretty good baseball game against a really good baseball team,” Rhodus said.
Newton improved to 22-4 on the season and won the game the way they have done all year long by playing small ball and doing the little things that give them chances to score runs and put pressure on other teams. Combine that with the pitching performance from Ryan Mollette who three a 3 hitter and had 9 strikeouts the Indians advanced to the District Finals where they will play Russia who upset the defending state champions Fort Loramie by the score of 1-0.
Despite the loss Rhodus felt like he got a good pitching performance.
“Hosler threw a pretty good game, he got a little frustrated a few times but overall it was a good outing,” Rhodus commented.
“Offensively we didn’t get the hits needed but part of that was due to Mollette, he got the second most votes in the league for player of the year, he’s good and can throw the ball … but I thought we battled and had a good approach and we had a couple of chances to scratch out a few runs but couldn’t get it done and sometimes that’s the way baseball goes,” Rhodus added.
We started the season out 0-2 and then 2-6 but our guys stayed engaged and I couldn’t be prouder of my 3 seniors who helped us along the way,” Rhodus said.
“Ethan Coppess hasn’t played baseball in a couple of years he comes out this year is a great teammate, he didn’t get to play every day, he got to play some, had a great attitude, was a great leader and picked his teammates up and did everything we asked and I was really happy he came out,” Rhodus praised.
“Larkin Ressler played shortstop for us this year batted in the 3-4 hole and that’s really hard to do when you haven’t done it in a couple of years. He was more of a great vocal leader and kept us together. When your down 3-4 games below 500 you can check out, but he kept us together,” Rhodus beamed.
“Tim Lawson, he played 3rd, caught and pitched for us, did a little of everything for us and also batted in the 3-4 spot. Timmy was the lead by example guy. He showed up every day wanting to play baseball and wanting to get better,” Rhodus concluded.
The 3 seniors are leaving the team in a better position than when then started concluding with a 15-12 overall record and 7-5 in the conference and if the older guys on the team learned from them and can lead the same way next year the future is bright for Franklin Monroe baseball.