At times, North Pulaski Coach Michael Dean sees glimpses of hope for his young Falcon baseball team.
Three freshmen, four sophomores, a junior and a senior start for the Falcons (2-6, 0-2 5A-Central). Because of the youth and inexperience, North Pulaski makes errors quite often. Dean says when they play without miscues they win games. Case in point, they defeated Bauxite and eStem.
"Our guys don’t know how to respond to pressure," Dean said. "Instead of stepping up, they sink back because of the youth and inexperience."
Against Bauxite, the Falcons played a doubleheader and lost the first game while winning the second one. Dean said in the first contest, they were only down 2-0 and 3-0 before everything fell apart after one error, and they ended up losing 10-0 Different story in the second game when North Pulaski jumped out on Bauxite and committed just two errors.
"We are also striking out way too much," Dean said. "When someone boots it, we all fall apart."
Dean lost most of last year’s team to graduation thus the reason for not having much experience returning. Two of his better players are freshmen Caleb McMunn and Tyler Montgomery. McMunn pitches, plays shortstop and left field while Montgomery also pitches and plays the infield, outfield or wherever needed. Centerfield is manned by senior Fred Thomas, who also played football land basketball.
"I have a total of five athletes on the team, and it’s hard to put them in key positions," Dean said. "They are good kids, and I’ve always said I have the classiest group of kids. If this group could stay together for two to three years, this team could play."
Dean appreciates the effort put forth by the Falcons and knows they are still getting used to the game. Just a handful play summer ball, so North Pulaski is still in the learning process. He says they can be solid one minute with two outs or two outs and two strikes and then hit a batter.
"They are still getting used to the ball pitched at 60-70 miles," he said. "We just can’t hit and are not having a good ball percentage, and we have way too many errors."
The Falcons host Little Rock Christian in a conference doubleheader Tuesday and host Little Rock Hall in a non-conference matchup Thursday.