Bergan enters his second full season as head coach of the Bears with
high expectations. The
team had a successful season in 2003, finishing 22-17 overall, with
a 15-5 AMC mark. The
2004 team is more experienced and in better condition.
“We restructured the conditioning program and have seen a
big improvement in strength. It
can only help us as we go deeper into the season and hopefully
deeper into the playoffs,” said Coach Bergan.
for the Bears is senior outfielder Ted Tom from Lancaster, OH. Tom
batted .293 last year with 8 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 homerun.
He also swiped 11-16 bases.
“He has taken his level of play to the next level and has
rubbed off on newcomers to the program.
He is an outstanding student and exciting to watch on the
field,” Coach Bergan says of Tom.
returning are senior pitchers Brent Johnson (London, OH) and Brian
Hines (Marion, OH). Johnson,
a left-hander, pitched 20 innings for the Bears, dividing time on
the mound with first base. He
compiled a 2-2 record on the mound and batted a .378, earning him an
all conference selection. Right-handed
pitcher Brian Hines will have more opportunities to showcase his
ability with the absence of all conference pitcher Tom Spille.
Hines pitched 36 innings in 2003, earning a 2-2 record.
the seniors is Nick Wayne, a transfer from Bellevue University.
Wayne, a catcher from Portage, IN, blasted 9 homeruns, drove
and over 40 RBI’s and batted .348 on the season.
Bellevue finished 5th in the country last year at
the NAIA World Series. “He
is a huge pickup for us,” said Coach Bergan.
“His desire and experience will enhance our chances of
competing for a championship.”
addition to the seniors, other top returnees include Dan Wysong,
Jared Perdue, and Matt Thompson.
Wysong, a junior infielder from Lebanon, OH batted a .263 and
played in 29 games for the Bears. Sophomore outfielder Jared Purdue (South Point, OH), was an
all conference selection as a freshman, hitting .339 with 6 doubles,
3 triples and 2 homeruns. Right-handed
pitcher Matt Thompson from Kenton, OH had a solid freshman season,
compiling a 4-1 record with a 4.15 era.
recruiting class focused on junior transfers.
“We went out and recruited top-notch players that could
come in and compete now,” said Coach Bergan.
Joining the Bears are Dan Wiemer, Jeff Tillman, Kole Hargrave,
and Ryan Rowland. Wiemer
and Tillman transferred from Cuyahoga Community College skippered by
former Bear, Brian Harrison. Dan
Wiemer, an infielder from Strongsville, OH, was a two-year starter
at Cuyahoga, where he set a record for double plays and one for the
most at bats in one season. Outfielder
and right-handed pitcher Jeff Tillman (Avon, OH), batted .400 last
year and compiled a 9-2 record.
Ryan Rowland, a sophomore from Circleville, OH transfers from
Urbana University. He will split time in the outfield and behind the plate.
Kole Hargrave, a catcher, comes to the Bears after a season
with Clark Community College. Hargrave,
a sophomore from Wilmington, OH, hit six homeruns last year.
Seven freshmen join the squad in addition to the transfers.
State opens the season on March 6 and 7 with double-headers at home
against conference rival Rio Grande. Game times are 1:00 and 3:00
p.m. at Doctor Singleton Park.