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Goshen plans for successful summer

The Goshen Eagles 2015 Dixie Major season is underway and in full swing. Coach Justin Sanders, and the Eagles are hoping for good things this summer that will carry over to next spring.

“I have a great group of young men, we only have four players who currently are under the age of 15,” coach Sanders said. “The rest of the guys are forced to come up and play against the older group.”

Although technically Goshen has both a 15 and under team as well as a 17 and under team, the lack of players over the age of 15 forces the younger kids to play in a higher league.

The Eagles schedule this summer consists of local American Legion teams and other teams around the area.

“We will be playing Post 70 this year in Troy, We actually play them twice this year,” coach Sanders said. “We will also be playing the Wiregrass Cardinals this weekend in the Opp Tournament.”

The Eagles Roster mainly will be comprised of members of the Goshen school system with a few also coming from the Pike Liberal Arts School as well.

The summer league gives the student athletes the ability to continue to play the sport of baseball and to hone their craft in the game of baseball.

“I just think it helps them because they are able to stay together as a team in the summer. Most of these kids play with each other during the high school year,” coach Sanders said. “It really helps them to stay together and get better. It gives them more at-bats, and some extra time to hone their skills.

Coach Sanders is in the midst of his second year coaching the summer team, its something he picked up with his dad over the years. The rest of the Goshen coaching staff is Steve Sanders, the father of head coach Justin Sanders, and Wes Davis; all three coaches have ties with Goshen, either through being former players or coaching at the recreation level.

“My father did it for years at Goshen, they haven’t had a team for the last seven or eight years leading up to last year. I graduated from Goshen and I played for summer program while I was there,” coach Sanders said. “We have picked it back up and me and my father are coaching it together. I really enjoy it, I love baseball.”

Goshen varsity baseball coach Robby Kinsaul is not involved with the baseball program due to state rules, leaving Sanders with the task of improving the baseball program.

“We get together and we try to get guys in the right positions that they will be playing next season,” coach Sanders said. “We will try and get a better feeling on what the varsity team will look like next year.”

With the end of the regular season having just ended, coach Sanders and the rest of the Eagles are not concerned about players being overworked or warn down.

“Our kids will play this month, and then they will be off until next baseball season,” Sanders said. “ As far as pitching goes, I have enough players to where I can rotate them out, We really pay attention to all that.”

At the end of the one-month season, Goshen will have the opportunity to play in the Dixie Majors District Tournament on July 2nd, with a chance to advance to the State Tournament, which will be held on July 9th.

With four games under their belt, the Goshen program is off to a 3-1 start after the 15 and under team swept their two-game series against Ariton’s with scores of 11-1, and 15-3. The 17 and under team split their two game series with Ashford, losing game one 3-1 and coming back to win in game two 7-5.

Pitcher Landon Wilks got the win for Goshen in Game two. He went did not let up and earned run in four innings. He struck out 9 opposing batters and walked three.

Dalton Bunce, and J.P. Steele led the way offensively, both hitters went 2-3 in game two, both hitters drove in a combined 5 runs for the Eagles.