Carstar Braves appear to be headed in wrong direction

Early in the year Red Deer Carstar Braves head coach Terry Letkeman could see his team heading in the right direction.

Dawgs Red 7 Braves 2

Early in the year Red Deer Carstar Braves head coach Terry Letkeman could see his team heading in the right direction.

They were young and playing a bit shorthanded, which affected their success on the diamond, but there were positive signs.

Lately Letkeman isn’t sure he sees any of that.

“We’re not improving the same way we did early in the season,” he said. “We no longer can use the excuse that we haven’t played enough games, now the players have to look in the mirror and make the decisions if they’re committed to playing at the midget AAA level.”

The Braves saw their Norwest Midget AAA Baseball League record slip to 3-13 with a 7-2 loss to the Okotoks Foothills Dawgs Red at Great Chief Park Wednesday.

“We’re not progressing at all. Our hitting has dried up, defensively we seem to make one error every game that will open the flood gates and our pitching has been sporadic,” said Letkeman.

“We walk twice as many hitters than we strike out and our hitters strike out twice as much as they walk, which makes it easy on the pitchers.”

Still Letkeman believes in the players. “If I didn’t they wouldn’t be here,” he said. “We may be young, but defensively we can handle anything that comes our way, but if they do it on a consistent basis is another matter. It causes problems and we’re not able to recover.

“One game earlier we dropped a ball at first base and then gave up eight runs with two away.”

The Braves managed five hits against three Foothills pitchers, scoring a pair of unearned runs in the sixth. Nik Fischer was one-for-one while Sam Schierman and Justice Letkeman were one-for-two each.

Brandon Bodemer started on the mound and gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings. He fanned three.

Mac Guckert allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in an inning with Levi Moon allowing an unearned run in an inning of work.

The Braves are off until July 7 when they host the Sherwood Park Gold in a twin bill starting at noon. They host the Sherwood Park Green July 8 in a pair of games, also starting at noon.

“The guys get some time off and when they come back they can look at it two ways,” added Letkeman. “They can say it’s the second half of the season and come out firing or they can continue to play melancholy baseball.”

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