By MINDY IGLEHART
The Max-Garrison Cossacks opened their 2016 season with a junior varsity doubleheader against the Beulah Miners April 4th in Max.
Yes, you read that right, a junior varsity game because for the first time in several years the baseball program has enough players on the roster for a true JV team.
Now this was a tough opener against a Beulah program that has been strong for years. That strength was demonstrated early in game 1 when the Miners pushed across four runs in the 1st inning.
The Cossacks answered with a couple runs in the 2nd but the Miners kept tacking on runs, cruising to a 12-2 win. Josh Thompson got the Cossacks’ only hit, a line drive single to right. Game 2 started the same way with a 1st inning Miner lead followed by a 9-run 3rd to cap a 13-0 win.
The easy reaction to these games would be discouragement, a collective hanging of the heads. But there were a lot of encouraging things to build on. This was a team with nearly all the players either rookies or with only one year of big boy baseball experience.
For example, against an older more experienced opponent, the Cossacks started 8th graders at third, short, first, second, catcher, and left field along with a 7th grader who pitched two innings, giving up only one hit and no earned runs.