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9U Flash helping to build Frankfort's baseball reputation

flash: The Frankfort Flash 9-and-under travel baseball team; front, from left, Jhett Stillwell, Wyatt Harshbarger, Gaige Kuzmicz and Yandel Valdes; middle,Chris Sandoval, Kelby Santos, Angel Lopez and Luke Shelley; and back,Michael Valdes, Alex King and Luke Harshbarger posewith their trophies after winning the Noblesville Midwest Travel Baseball Championships.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The Frankfort Flash 9-and-under travel baseball team is 32-15 at the end of their season after winning four tournament and taking second place three times this year despite being bumped from Double A to Triple A in the middle of the season.

If their record and tournament success sounds similar to the 10U Frankfort Flash’s, it is for good reason.

“We stuck a team together three years ago,” head coach Heath Harshbarger said. “The Frankfort Flash had 13 kids on the team and, the following year, we had seven guys who had to move up.

“It is all ran under the same umbrella,” he added. “We sat down last winter and made the schedule. We are playing in the same tournaments.”

The two Frankfort Flash teams also train together in the offseason.

“We start in the winter time with a lot of hitting and pitching,” Harshbarger said. “We start early and start focusing on that. Of course, when it gets warmer, we move outside and work on the fielding side of it.”

The 9U Flash graduated from the pitching machine in game to Triple-A baseball very quickly.

“Now there are full leadoffs and full baseball rules,” Harshbarger said. “But we have had some success still with the Triple A. We did win a Triple A tournament, which was good.

“The kids adjust,” he added. “We went in the span of one year from hitting off a pitching machine to live arm pitching to full baseball rules. It is a difficult adjustment, but the kids have done really well with it. We have a bright future. We have great kids, and we have great parents to go along with them and a great system that is trying to make the kids not only better basketball players but better people. We have tremendous buy-in from the parents.”