In the last baseball season of the year the Franklin Lightning have once again fallen short of their ultimate goal of making the playoffs. The Lightning went 8-16 this season, which is definitely not where they wanted to be, but there still were some bright spots in this season, including a 10-1 win against Southeast rivals, the Cleveland Warriors.
This season was rocky from the start, and according to right fielder Desmond Lewis-Volponi (12), “The beginning of this season was hard without our full coaching staff.” Since the team was missing two of their coaches, players said that the team chemistry didn’t fully come together until the end of the season, where Franklin went 6-5 in their last 11 games, which demonstrated the resilience of the team. Through injuries, canceled games, and losses in the coaching staff, this team never gave up and bounced back from a 2-11 start to the season.
Even though Franklin missed the playoffs, this year still ended on a hopeful note. This team did something impressive: they continued to fight and it paid off. “Our belief and chemistry wasn’t there early on, [but] we definitely got way better throughout the season,” said first baseman Carlos Orellana-Thompson (12). This belief will flow into the Franklin baseball culture and lead to a brighter future for this team. Franklin is losing six seniors, which may be a major blow to next year’s team. But next year’s team also has hope of making the playoffs. “The Franklin program looks like it will be in good hands with four seniors in the starting lineup next year,” says pitcher and catcher Michael Bernal (12).
The Franklin Baseball Program still has a lot of work to do before they become a powerhouse like Grant or Ida B. Wells. This really starts from the beginning of a player’s baseball career. The good teams in the Portland Interscholastic League are good at every level. This includes their minors leagues, where kids in elementary and middle school play together all the way up until high school. Having a true system to develop players and build chemistry between teammates makes a good team and a good system overall. The Franklin baseball program needs to start developing players early to be able to bolster their ranks.