Bergan begins his first full season as head coach of the Shawnee
State Bears. Bergan did an outstanding job last season, as he took over
the reigns of the SSU Baseball program 3 games into the 2002
successfully guided the Bears to a 20-14 overall record, and a 13-9
AMC finish. One of the
high points of the season came in the form of the Bears’ first
ever win over an NCAA Division I opponent. SSU knocked off the University of Cincinnati 8-7 in eleven
innings on May 6.
nine players return from last years’ squad, but Coach Bergan and
his staff feel confident about the players they will put on the
field this year. “We
have a lot of young talent in addition to some very good experienced
players,” said Bergan. “I
truly feel that we should be in position to once again compete for a
the outfield for the Bears will be Ted Tom, Tom Janis, Jeremy
Osborne, Brent Johnson, and Jarred Perdue.
Janis, a senior from North Olmstead, OH, will hit in the
leadoff spot and play center field.
He hit .327 with a .455 on base percentage last season.
He tied for second on the squad with 27 runs scored.
Tom, a junior from Lancaster, OH, will get his first shot at
being an everyday player. In
19 games last year, he hit .302 and scored 14 runs.
He showed great patience at the plate as he drew 11 walks in
just 54 plate appearances. Tom
will likely play left field and bat third in the lineup.
The Bears return
three infielders in 2003 including 2001 All-American, Trevor Vaught.
Also returning are Dan Wysong and Patrick Looney.
Vaught, as senior form Canton, OH, is a career .405 hitter.
He led the team with 13 doubles, six homeruns, a .644
slugging percentage, and 8 stolen bases.
“The team is expecting big things from Trevor this year,”
said Coach Bergan. “Not
only that, but he is expecting big things from himself.”
Wysong, a sophomore from Lebanon, OH, takes over at
shortstop. He struggled
(.214) in limited appearances at the plate, however, according to
the coaching staff, he is one of the best fielders in the league.
Looney, a senior from Athens, OH, will split time between
designated hitter, catcher, and third base.
Look for a pair of transfers to man the corners.
Glenn Hannah from Rio Grande will take over at first base and
Jeremy Jackubowski from Findlay will play the hot corner.
pitching staff is composed of five solid starting pitchers and a
core of good relievers. Nate
Pool, a senior from Springfield, OH, will move from closer to #1
starter this spring. He was 2-0 with 2 saves in 12 appearances last season.
“He has an overpowering fastball,” says Bergan.
“He mixes in a couple of very good off speed pitches as
well.” Brian Hines,
Tom Spille, and Derrick Heming are locks for the rotation as well.
Brent Johnson and Aaron Morrison will battle it out for the
Looney, R. J. Niemer, and Andrew Malone will battle it out for the
catching duties. “Looney
has a leg up because of his experience, but the two freshmen are
extremely talented and continue to improve daily.”
Bears will face an extremely challenging schedule this season.
In addition to the very tough American Mideast Conference
schedule, the Bears face three NCAA Division I schools and perennial
Division III powerhouse, Marietta College.
Shawnee State plays at Wright State, at Eastern Kentucky, and
at Ohio State. SSU also
takes a trip to Cocoa Beach during Spring Break.
State opens the season on February 21 at Kentucky State University.
The Bears open play at home on February 28, in an exhibition
double-header versus Cuyahoga Community College. Game time is 1:00 p.m. at Doctor Singleton Park.