Kirk Liebert feels comfortable in his first year with Owensboro RiverDawgs of the Ohio Valley League.
Coming off an outstanding freshman season at Wabash Valley College in Illinois, Liebert has hit the ground running with the Dawgs, driving in 16 runs in the team's first 12 games to tie for the OVL lead with teammates Bailey Falkenstein and Ian Ellis.
"It's going good," said Liebert, a former star catcher for Daviess County High School. "Getting to play with some new guys is a lot of fun.
"We're still trying to figure some things out, but this is a solid squad with quality hitting up and down the lineup."
One of those hitters is the left-handed swinging Liebert, who bats second in a torrid order. The summer, he's hitting .295 with two doubles, 14 runs scored and eight stolen bases to go along with those 16 RBIs.
"I've been hitting the ball hard, and that's what you're looking to do," said Liebert, who is seeing action at catcher, outfield and designated hitter. "It doesn't always find a hole, but it you keep taking quality swings those hits are eventually going to fall in for you.
"This summer, my focus is to get mentally tougher, work on my baserunning, and just try to become a more complete baseball player. It's just a matter of going out there every day and finding a way to succeed."
RiverDawgs manager Vic Evans Jr., who piloted the team to the OVL championship in 2018, isn't surprised by Liebert's success.
"He's so hard-nosed, you never have to worry about his effort or his desire to play the game the right way," Evans said. "He's got that sweet lefty swing and he hits the ball very well. He's a perfect fit in our lineup this year. Our big RBI guys bat 2, 3 (Falkenstein) and 4 (Ellis), and they're tough to get through.
"Beyond all this, Kirk is such a great kid. He plays the game with passion and it's been a joy to be around him this season."
In his first season at Wabash Valley, Liebert hit .424 for a club that was ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College poll entering postseason play. Also on the team was former Ohio County High School star pitcher Blaine Gillim, who is Liebert's RiverDawgs teammate this summer.
In the Northern District Tournament, Wabash Valley lost two of three games to Iowa Western, which finished runner-up in the national junior college tournament.
Wabash Valley finished with a record of 55-4, which included an astonishing 49-game winning streak.
"That was the best team I've ever played on," said Liebert, who primarily saw action in left field at Wabash Valley. "We came up a little short at the end, but it was still an outstanding season, and I'm looking forward to having more success there next season."
For the time being, however, Liebert is happy to be back home and assist the East Division-leading RiverDawgs (7-5) in garnering some more postseason hardware.
"I just want to help this team win another league championship this season," Liebert said. "We have a lot of potential with this group, and I believe we can do great things."
• Tuesday's OVL game between Owensboro and Henderson was washed out in the top of the third inning with the visiting Flash leading 3-0 at Chautauqua Park's Independence Field.