Kansas coach leads undefeated underdogs in NBC

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- Head coach Howard Palmer, a Leon native, is coaching the San Antonio Angels in the NBC World Series.

The Angels, a year after taking their licks, advanced to the semifinals this year.

"It's great to be playing with the right tools and just letting the guys have fun," Palmer said. "My job, you said head coach, but I'm really just the head facilitator. I learn more from these guys than they learn from me in baseball."

Palmer is going back to the basics. He said he learned a lot from falling in the opening round last year. His team is focused on fundamentals and playing fast and loose.

"I think it was more of the fear of 'don't get beat,' and just come out with everything on the line and just have fun," first baseman Nick Hamel said. "We're going up against DI players and we're just DIII players trying to have fun. We get overlooked all of the time, might as well step up to the challenge."

Wichita Northwest grad and current Friends University pitcher Jacob Schreiber joined the team this summer. He said the energy is unlike any he's ever experienced.

"It's a fun atmosphere 24-7. Team camaraderie is unbelievable. Everyone just meshes really well and he just lets us play and it's a fun time."

The fun all goes back to the fundamentals Palmer mentioned earlier.

"The fundamentals keep baseball fun because if you can execute the fundamentals, that usually leads to winning and winning is fun."

Sounds simple right? His team is now two games away from a championship, and the Kansas-native is starting to digest those emotions.

"It's pretty awesome getting to share with the guys, kind of the area I grew up in. Sharing everything with them is sometimes overwhelming."

Palmer hopes he can bring a championship back to his new home in San Antonio. Semi-final action begins Friday night, with the Championship game on Saturday.