The Shawnee State University
Baseball Team returns 12 players from last year’s 21-20-1
squad. With the addition of 16 newcomers to the Bear’s program
the team should have a mix of experience and young talent.
Senior Jared Perdue, and
sophomores Justin Craft and Nathan Timberlake will lead the team
in the 2006 season. Perdue, an All-American from South Point,
OH led the team last season with a .390 batting average, 48
hits, 41 runs, 40 RBI’s, and 9 home runs. All-Conference player
and third baseman Craft, from South Webster, had a .346 batting
average, 47 hits, 31 runs, 33 RBI’s and 6 home runs last
season. Timberlake, an All-Conference outfielder from
Wheelersburg, tallied a .369 batting average, with 31 hits, 17
runs, 21 RBI’s and a homerun on the season. “Seniors Ryan
Rowland (Circleville, OH), R.J. Niemer (Cincinnati, OH), and
Kole Hargrave (Wilmington, OH) will add additional experience on
the field and at the plate,” said Shawnee State Coach, Tom
Bergan. Last season, Neimer batted .330 in conference play.
Craft, Rowland, and Hargrave will also see time on the mound.
Other returnees include senior Jeremy Jakuowski and sophomore
Also back for 2006 season, are
pitchers Jonathan Venters, Aaron Morrison, Kent Kobayashi, Phil
Holt, and Nick Collins. Venters, a sophomore from Xenia, OH
started in 8 games last season, striking out 35 in 38 innings.
He tallied a 4-3 record and held opponents to a .257 batting
average. Morrison, returning after missing the entire 2005
season, will add experience and maturity to the mound.
Sophomore, Phil Holt, returns in better shape and is eager to
improve on last year’s performance.
The Bears’ roster includes a
core of newcomers, including nine freshmen and five transfers.
“All-American transfer Phil Ashcraft will add power and
consistency to our line-up and allow us to shuffle the deck when
we need to,” says Bergan. Zac Shoaf, 5-6 transfer from Columbus
State, has the ability to drive the ball in the gaps and utilize
speed on the bases. Transfer juniors, Casey Wooddell and Greg
Reimer will compete for middle infield duties along with
freshmen Jeremy Blackston. Blackston, was selected MVP of the
Tri Valley Conference and led Meigs’ High School to the
Conference Championship. Freshmen Logan Crabtree, Bob Tackett,
and Ricky Pollard provide the Bears with depth and solid bats of
the bench. Freshmen Randall Scott (Portsmouth, OH) and Brent
Russo (Canal Winchester, OH) along with Wooddell will be used on
the pitching staff. Transfer Eric Spille (Cincinnati, OH) and
Freshmen Tyler Hollar (Minerva, OH) will provide left-handed
stability in the bullpen.
The Bears face a challenging
schedule that includes 11th ranked Ohio Dominican.
The team will travel to Fort Myers, Florida during spring break
to play 8 games in 6 days. The trip will begin with St. Thomas
University of Minnesota who compiled a record of 30-12 last
season. The Bears’ will wrap up the trip with 15th
ranked NCAA III Otterbein College.
Shawnee State will split its
home games between Branch Rickey Park and Doctor Singleton
Park. The Bears open American Mideast Conference play on March
3 at Branch Rickey.