Thursday, May 28, 2015

Friday Night Opening at Home – Railroaders vs Miners

     Not since 2010 have the Railroaders had a season opening win at home or away.  Fulton has consistently been slow getting out of the gate to start the season.  Falling behind early in the standing, the Railroaders begin their run at mid season (give or take).  And in 2010 to present, Fulton finishes the season in second place, several games behind the leader.  The brightest spots during this time have been 2 Post Season Playoff titles in 2011 and 2013.  Both these 3 game series were come from behind Railroader victories over the Oilers and Hoppers.  The last 1st place regular season standing for Fulton occurred in 2007.  Will this trend change in 2015 and begin this Friday when the Railroaders host the Madisonville Miners?

     The Miners are lead by Head Coach Jared Franklin, his 2nd year with Madisonville.  He has 15 years coaching experience, and is also Head Coach for Webster County High School.  He is an associate Scout for the Texas Rangers, and coached a team to a 2013 title in the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League.  As skipper of the newly renamed Miners in 2014, Franklin’s first year was tough one with Madisonville finishing last with a 10-30 record, however the Miners did succeed to in Post Season to advance with a win in the 1st round of the playoffs before being knock out by the Railroaders in the 2nd round.  I’m sure Coach Franklin has different ideas for this year!

     The Railroaders, on the other hand, have newly appointed Head Coach Mikee Moore who has his own history with Fulton.  Mikee served as assistant coach for the Railroaders in 2014, and played as a Railroader in 2012 and 2013.  He is known for aggressive play, hitting and base stealing (see Mikee steal home).  His collegiate playing career was at both Georgia College and Maryville College.  He played three seasons at NCAA Division III where he earned several titles. My observations have him as a player’s coach and expect the team to follow his lead.  Teaming up with Moore is Tyler Saltsman serving as assistance coach.  Saltsman also returns this year after serving the Railroaders as an assistance coach for Fulton in 2014.  He is a former Railroader pitcher too, playing in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

     The Railroaders have a completely fresh crew for 2015, all under the guidance of two former Railroaders players and coaches.  I’m expecting some great things to happen this year.  We’ll see what happens beginning this Friday at the Yard against the Miners.  See you there or online TeamLine.  Let Fire it Up!