Playing everyone on his R.F. Munroe Bobcats roster over the two-day preseason tournament at Florida High School, first-year Bobcat skipper Chris Warfel accomplished a lot in terms of developing a team identity and seeing attainable goals — though his team fell to Rickards 2-6 and host Florida High 9-19.
“We learned a lot about of young team during this Preseason Tournament,” said Warfel. “We saw a lot of good qualities in our young ballplayers and we also saw plenty of mistakes that need to be fixed. Our starting pitching looked good when they worked ahead in the count. Our pitch selection got better on offense throughout the tournament. We played pretty good defense overall. The players showed a lot of heart, fight, and character as they battled adversity throughout the tournament. We are going to stay focused on the positives while correcting the mistakes and getting better. There is a lot of potential and plenty of raw material to work with. No struggle, no progress.”
In game one against Rickards, the Bobcats began with a strong pitching performance from junior right-hander Myles Edwards, who pitched three complete innings and allowed no hits or runs while striking out six. From there, the pitching was a little shaky and RFM would yield six runs over the final three frames. The Bobcats rallied in the seventh for two runs when junior first-baseman Stephen Miller scored from third on an error, and Myles Edwards crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Will Harris. For the game, the Bobcats had three hits, one each by Andrew Higdon (eighth grade), Miller and Vince Fioramanti (senior).
Against Florida High, the Bobcat offense showed some signs of what it can be by scoring nine runs on eight hits. Unfortunately, pitching and defense was a little erratic, leading to the final in five innings.
RFM was led at the plate by centerfielder Andrew Higdon, who went 3-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and third-baseman Myles Edwards, who was 2-4 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Rounding out the offense were first baseman Stephen Miller, shortstop Colton McIntosh (sophomore), and catcher Nick Bot (freshman) with one hit each, while left-fielder Joey Sloan (sophomore) and right-fielder Daniel Winburn (sophomore) scored one and two runs, respectively.
Indeed, the young Bobcats (only one senior on the roster) saw the good and the bad along with learning more about themselves, preparing to start the regular season Feb. 12 on the road at Maclay.
“I am excited about the future of Munroe baseball,” said Warfel, “and look forward to building a winner!”