One year removed from three state championships, the Liberal Baseball Association continues to give reason for optimism this summer. Last week the 10 and 12-year-old Cimarron River Rattlers both reached the championship game. This week the nine, 13, and 14 year-old teams play at state. The Senior Babe Ruth Liberal Bulldogs went 1-2 at state at the Liberal Baseball Complex last weekend but finished 20-9 this summer. Liberal High School and Liberal Bulldog head coach Eric Olmstead says Liberal is laying a baseball foundation.
"You can't ask a whole lot more from out Cal Ripken," the four year LHS head coach said. "I think we've got one of the best programs if not the best in the state."
The problem has been keeping that Cimarron River Rattler pride going from Cal Ripken baseball (9-12 years old) to Junior Babe Ruth (13-15 years old). But this summer the Liberal Baseball Association presented three Junior Babe Ruth teams. The 13's play Independence at 2:30 Friday in Garden City to begin state play. The 14's play Parsons at 2:30 Friday in Garden City at state. Olmstead says this is a sign of baseball progress.
"We've got room for improvement with the upper levels and hopefully we can get these kids to carry over into playing Junior Babe Ruth. We've been losing a few kids here and there but this summer we've retained a lot of kids in Junior Babe Ruth. We have about 55 kids in Junior Babe Ruth."
The nine years olds were guests during the Sportsguys Wednesday morning before the 13's appeared on the show Thursday. The 14's will be guests Friday morning between 7:37 and 9 on Talkradio 1270 and kscbnews.net.