Bozeman baseball team off to hot start, working to stay focused

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:08 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Bozeman baseball team is off to a hot start and quite simply, blowing opponents away here in the early part of the 2021 season!

Coach Jeff Patton and his crew with 7 wins in 7 games so far, that’s impressive enough. But get this, in those 7 wins the Bucks have scored 110 runs! And given up just five! 110 to 5 the combined score in 7 wins, and three of those wins coming against teams in the 3A class, those being some county rivals Bay, Rutherford and North Bay Haven.

“I’m not surprised that we started off as well as we did because we’ve got some talented kids.” coach Patton told me Monday via Zoom. “And we can really play. And when we have our better guys going on the mound, we can be tough to beat. But I think the amount of runs we’ve scored is a little bit surprising. And we haven’t given up a bunch. I thought we’d have a few more bumps in the road early. I think the schedule’s been pretty kind to us. But we’re looking forward to seeing what happens when we start getting to a little different competition.”

And at this point of the relatively young season, perhaps Patton’s biggest worry is his guys taking teams for granted, losing focus. I put that question to him.

“You do worry about complacency and you do worry about them looking at MaxPreps and scores in the paper, and reading their own press clippings.” Patton replied. “Over here at our place, you know I’ve got a way with words sometimes, and kind of get their attention. And the kids can kind of get on to each other a little bit too. So if somebody is maybe not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, maybe something different than how we do it, they’ll police themselves a little bit. So we’re talking about doing what we do, not what the competition is like. Or how we’re playing. We’re just going to try to meet a standard of play which is what we always do. And so far we’re doing a pretty good job of it.”

I went on to ask the coach what he likes most about this team, 7 games in?

“The leadership in this group is a little bit different. It’s a little more player driven.” said coach Patton. “I think some of the internal fire that we have is player driven. I don’t seem to have to crack the whip quite as hard to get these guys motivated to go. They’re all pretty self motivated kids. They have college aspirations and they know they have to meet a certain standard for that. So I would say that’s the biggest thing.”

By the way, with three more wins this Bozeman program will reach 300 wins. Not bad for a young program, in just its 16th season. All 297 wins so far have come with Patton at the helm. The Buicks are back on the field Thursday at Arnold.

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