Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patience Pays for Pezold after a Rocky 1-12 Start

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patience Pays for Pezold after a Rocky 1-12 Start

Article excerpt

For most baseball managers, a 1-12 start would mean disaster. But Larry Hollrah never panicked.

"The thing that impressed me most about this team was the attitude," said Hollrah, manager of the Pezold Hauling team of the Metro Collegians Instructional Baseball League. "Even when we were struggling, I never sensed that the guys were getting down on themselves. They were excited about coming to the ballpark every day and that's been a key.

"We've continued to work and now it seems like we're starting to turn things around a little bit."

Pezold (4-14) has won three of its last five, and Hollrah is confident that better times are ahead for his ballclub.

"We're playing better - even in our bad streak, we played most teams tough - and we're also catching a few breaks now," the manager said. "We're in the Blue Division with Coca-Cola and Kaplan Real Estate and, through a fluke in the schedule, we didn't play either of those teams much early in the season. We're 2-2 against Coke and 2-3 against Kaplan and both those teams have pretty good overall records.

"We're to the point where we feel we can play with anyone in this league. And that confidence has been a key for us."

Pezold had some personnel problems early as infielder Greg Lyons (Wabash Valley Junior College), one of the team's top returning players, took a job in Houston. Another infielder, Gary Alsop (St. Charles High/Florissant Valley Community College), was unable to play because of injuries suffered in an automobile accident.

"Going into the season, I felt real good about our middle-infield situation," Hollrah said. "We lost Greg, and Gary just wasn't able to play. Fortunately, we were able to sign Mark Becker, a Lafayette High graduate who's going to a junior college in Georgia. He stepped in and has done a good job in the field and at the plate for us."

Most of Pezold's early-season woes can be traced to hitting. In one five-game stretch, the team managed just nine total runs.

"Our pitching wasn't that bad," Hollrah said. "But because we weren't hitting, every mistake was magnified. Every error turned into two or three runs and every bad pitch ended up costing us. …

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