Young Lex team still working
LEXINGTON – The Lexington Pinnacle Bank Seniors have hit a rough patch after two rainouts in the previous week and meeting two in-county rivals on Sunday and Monday. Lexington first dropped their away game with Gothenburg on Sunday, 2-4, before taking a 1-11 loss at home to the Cozad Reds on Monday.
It had been nearly a week since the Pinnacle Bank Seniors had played a game when they stepped on the field with Gothenburg on Sunday. Their last games had been with two powerhouse teams, Kearney Runza and a doubleheader with Hastings 5 Points Bank. When looking for redemption in games last week with North Platte and McCook the Lex boys were shut down by wet fields and were unable to play.
“We had a rough weekend and when we looked to bounce back last week we had a couple rainouts,” said Vince Leibert, Head Coach of Lexington Legion Baseball after the game with Gothenburg. “We hadn’t been able to get on the field and the bats showed it today. We just couldn’t seem to get any hits put together.”
Lexington, despite the loss, registered one more hit at the plate than the Melons on Sunday with seven over Gothenburg’s six. The boys in orange and black were connecting with the ball at the plate, but 15 of their outs in the game were a result of groundouts and flyouts.
“That’s where you give credit to a solid baseball program in the other dugout,” Leibert said. “They played good defensive baseball, they were everywhere they needed to be and we couldn’t get a ball to drop.”
The same was true of Monday’s game with the Cozad Reds. Lexington’s at-bats were riddled with groundout-flyouts, 13 of them, showing their aggression at the plate. Again, they struggled getting runners around the bags.
“We’ve just got to get some confidence at the plate,” Leibert said after the game with the Reds. “A lot of these guys don’t have a lot of at-bats. Four of our ten guys have had consistent playing time.”
With many players not returning to the program for the 2019 season, the Lexington Legion team has leaned heavily on players who have taken a back seat in the past.
One player, particularly mentioned by coach Leibert, has stepped up to the occasion.
Efren Aguirre saw six at-bats in the games with Gothenburg and Cozad. He netted four total bases on three hits including one RBI. He gained two bases on errors and recorded two stolen bases.
“Efrin hadn’t really been given a lot of time in the past,” Leibert said of Aguirre’s history in the program. “We gave him a chance and he responded.”
Much of the Lexington Pinnacle Bank Seniors, like Aguirre, are young and haven’t seen a lot in the way of Legion seniors baseball. Coach Leibert is hopeful for their remaining games in the season.
“Most of these guys haven’t seen any time on the field at the senior level,” Leibert explained. “They’re in front of pitchers at a level they’ve never seen. I hope they settle in. They’re still working on it and they’re working hard. They just need to keep taking reps and keep their heads up.”
Coach Leibert went on to mention other player performances he was particularly proud of in Monday’s game.
“Vinnie Leibert pitched a great first three or four innings,” he began. “We kind of lost our team leader, Jaxon Fagot, in a collision at the plate. He came back in for a pinch hit at the end of the game, driving the ball and that’s an encouraging sign.”
The Pinnacle Bank Seniors will be back on the home field on Thursday, June 6 when they host Broken Bow at 8 p.m. The Juniors game starts at 5:30 p.m.