Reds 125th anniversary season one to remember

Special to the Herald

The Jasper Reds entered 2018 hoping to have a special season to mark their 125th Anniversary and they weren’t disappointed. 

It started on January 31, when the team got invited to the Inaugural Bluegrass World Series in Louisville.  It just kept getting better from there.  Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz proclaimed May 27, “Jasper Reds Day” and threw out the first pitch as the Reds swept Lexington, KY in a doubleheader. 

The Reds were on their way to an 18-0 start, the first undefeated regular season in their history.  They played the opening night of the Bluegrass World Series on July 30, losing to the Louisville Stars, 5-0.   The Stars were managed by Johnny Bench and their roster was comprised of retired Major League players such as Chipper Jones and Johnny Damon.  The Reds won their final game in the World Series on August 3rd, beating the Dubois County Bombers, 4-0, and closed out the season with a stellar 19-2 record.

The Reds pitching staff was led by Bo Daves of Pike County with a 5-1 mark, Clayton Mayfield went 5-0, and veteran Kris Weisheit out of Northeast Dubois went 4-0, raising his career record to 14-3.

Austin Simmers led the Reds regulars in hitting with a .565 mark and scored a team leading 22 runs.  Lane Kirkland of Boonville led the team in RBI’s with 17 while hitting .405 and scoring 18 runs. Boonville’s Garrett Camp hit .452 and did not strikeout in 52 plate appearances.  Catcher Adam Hedinger reached base 22 times in 44 plate appearances.

The defense was led by slick-fielding shortstop Josh Weidenbenner and outfielders Jacob Lents, Devin Franz and LaWan Rollins.  Franz also went 2-0 with a save as a pitcher while hitting .354.  Other local players contributing to the success of the team included Trevor Krapf, who hit .438 in 7 games, as well as Eli Knust and Noah Luebbehusen.

Bill Alles completed his 20th year as manager and has now compiled a record of 186-120-1, a .704 winning percentage.

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