When the Sedalia Travelers have a full, healthy roster available on game day, they have enough to have six guys on the bench.
During some of their games this summer, the dugout has been empty or has had only one player in it when the opposing team is batting.
This was the case during Friday’s doubleheader versus the Lee’s Summit Outlaws, which included a 12-inning contest.
“It’s tough but we just keep doing our thing, keep playing hard and just have each other’s backs,” said Travelers infielder Chase Plymell.
Dom Zerilli was the lone player not in the field during the first game, but he was the DH so all 10 available players participated.
“It makes coaching easy I can tell you that,” said Travelers coach Jeff Mays.
With the team being shorthanded, it relied on Roberto Ramirez to eat up innings on the mound in game one. He threw more than 120 pitches in 10 innings.
“I’ve never seen a guy go 10 innings in person, especially at this level,” Plymell said.
Ramirez was able to pitch an efficient game, only allowing four runs on 12 hits and issuing three walks.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” Mays said. “I extended him one more inning than I wanted to, but he said he felt good. He can go deep into ball games for us. He throws free and easy and doesn’t labor too hard. He throws a lot of strikes and gives you a good opportunity.”
Gavin Jones finished off the final two innings on the mound, only giving up one hit and earning the win.
A pitching outing like Ramirez had Saturday was one that the Travelers certainly needed with several players being unavailable.
Mason Kelchner, who plays behind the plate and on the mound, has battled an injury. Jordan Schlueter, Gehrig Taylor, Gabel Dull and Trey Green were also absent and all can pitch.
“Everybody wants to take vacations and have fun,” Mays said. “It is summer baseball and we just keep grinding it out. Guys love playing and they are all getting to play and are getting plenty of at-bats and that’s what’s important. We have one in Europe, he had one have his wisdom teeth cut out and we’ve got another one in Boston on a family vacation. That’s just what summer is about. You can’t be upset about that. We’re always glad when they come back.”
Mays said he could have at least close to a full roster back by the Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament, which is today through Saturday.
“We’re getting back to being fully loaded and we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.