LARRY LARKIN

Progress Correspondent



"... Now leading off for the Rogers County Rangers, John Chaisson."

The lineups change. The uniform jersey colors change from red to blue. The opponents change.

But one thing remains the same: John Chaisson’s place in the lineup.

In each of the first 20 games played by the American Legion baseball Rangers, Chaisson's name is the first one in the batting order.

Coach Todd Bingham has used different players in different slots throughout the remaining eight positions, but Chaisson has been a fixture at the top of the lineup.

The slender redhead from Oologah has rewarded his coach's backing with a .441 batting average. He leads his teammates in eight of 17 batting statistics as the team heads into the final stages of its first summer season.

The Rangers have been on an offensive tear of late, as has Chaisson.

In Okmulgee Wednesday night, the Rangers collected a dozen hits and rolled over the host Bulldogs, 11-2.

The Rangers scored four runs in the top of the seventh and closed out Okmulgee by the run rule.

Over the last five games, the Rangers have averaged 13 hits and 10 runs.

“It just seems like everything we’re hitting is going right through the holes,” Bingham said.

They have raised their record to 16-5.

In statistics compiled before Wednesday’s games, Chaisson led the Rangers in plate appearances, official at-bats, base hits and stolen bases.

Curt Simpson continues to carry the hottest bat. He leads the team with a .491 average, with 53 total bases, 10 doubles, and is tied with two others with the most home runs, three. His slugging average is a remarkable .930.

The Rangers return to the Legion Field Friday to open a weekend set.

They play Joplin at 7 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the schedule has the Rangers meeting Wagoner at 1 p.m., before taking on the highly regarded Edmond Stars at 7 p.m. In between, Edmond and Wagoner will clash at 4 p.m.