By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
There was a sense of optimism after the first day of tryouts for Enid’s Connie Mack League baseball teams Sunday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
Some 72 players went through a series of drills, including a 250-foot throw, miles per hour pitching (against the radar gun), home to first, a 40-yard dash, a 60-yard dash, a 20-yard backward run and the “Mayberry mile’’ (five laps around the ballpark).
“I saw a lot of arm strength and speed, things you can’t teach,’’ said Majors head coach Chris Jensen. “That’s a good base to work with and go on from there.’’
Tryouts will continue today and Tuesday at David Allen. Jensen said not everyone will be called back for the last two days of days which will be more baseball oriented.
“We want to look at the athleticism today,’’ Jensen said. “The numbers were great. I see a lot of talent out there, but we’ll know more after we scrimmage some.’’
Jensen said he hopes to have the teams (Majors, Minors and 15-under) determined by Thursday. The Majors and Minors will play Friday and Sunday in Les Beckham League action. There will be a an alumni game at 7 p.m. Saturday between players from the 1999-2004 and the 2005-10 Enid American Legion teams.
Jensen said the Majors and Minors rosters will have anywhere from 20 to 22 players. The 15-under team will play in a area Red Dirt League at Failing Field on the Northern Oklahoma College Enid campus.
“We got a lot of guys back from last year and some that I’ve just seen for three hours,’’ Jensen said. “It looks promising.’’
Players came as far as Glencoe, Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Pawnee, Perry, Watonga and Ponca City as all the county schools.
Butch Lingenfelter, who coached the Minors last season and will assist Jensen with the Majors this season, said he was impressed with the improvement he saw from last year at this station — the mph pitching.
“Guys, who we clocked last year, were throwing four to eight miles per hour faster,’’ Lingenfelter said. “That’s what we were looking for — not necessarily how hard they threw, but tracking the kids’ progress. That was the most impressive thing for me.’’
Glencoe’s Nathan Melton was clocked at 94 mph. Dover’s Junior Obesco hit 90 mph.
“Hardly anyone threw in the 90s last year,’’ Lingenfelter said. “I think these kids are bigger, quicker and stronger than they were last year. I know we have a weight program with the Enid kids and they showed signs of being bigger and stronger.’’
Dennom Sullivan, who will coach the 15-under team with Kyle Hilterbran, said he saw “some really good times’’ in the home to first station. The fastest time was a 3.78, with several under four seconds, including Chisholm’s Tabor Charles at 3.86.
“It makes a lot of difference how quick you can get out of the box and to first,’’ Sullivan said. “You can beat out a lot of hits that way. We were excited to get it started. Some of the guys are just getting their seasons over with and they came in good shape.’’
Ex-EHS and Oklahoma star Tyson Seng will be Jensen’s other assistant. Ex-EHS stars Seth Sturgeon and Zach Gonzalez will coach the Minors.