By Chris Parsons
TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
WHITLEY COUNTY —
The Whitley County Colonels are one of the hottest teams in the 13th Region, having won five straight games and seven of their last nine.
The Colonels started the season by winning five of the first six games, but head coach Kyle Adams wasn’t pleased with the effort his squad was putting into games and was quick to point out mental mistakes players continuously made.
With recent wins over Corbin and Clay County, Adams said he’s pleased with the Colonels’ effort and said his team is starting to play the brand of baseball he felt it could play all season.
“The difference in the start of the year and now is that kids are starting to believe in each other,” Adams said. “When you see them pulling for each other and you know their head is in the game, you can see a difference in their faces.
“The one thing I can say is that even when these kids are down in a game, they don’t quit and that’s something that has changed,” he added. “There was a time when I could look in their faces and tell that they were finished and that’s not so with this team.”
Early on in the season, the Colonels were struggling on the defensive side of things, but Adams said that experience and being in game situations seems to have helped his players gain some confidence.
During several early losses, errors were to blame for a majority of runs allowed, which was taxing on Whitley County’s pitching staff. Once the defense started to make the routine plays, the Colonels’ began looking like a team that could play with any team in the region.
During the current five-game win streak, the Colonels’ offense has scored at a rate of over 17 runs per game, while the pitching staff has surrendered just over four.
That differential is enough to give Adams and company the confidence to win every time the team takes the field.
“I feel like if we play good defense, we can play with anybody out there,” Adams said. “When our kids aren’t kicking the ball around like they did early in the season, we can keep ourselves in ballgames.
“With the kids we have, I feel like if we’re in games late anything can happen,” he added.