Saturday, May 31, 2008

Other results from May 30

Owensboro 4, Marion 3
See game story below.

Fulton 9, Farmington 2
The Fulton Railroaders hosted the Farmington Firebirds to open the 2008 Kitty League and won the game in convincing fashion. The Railroaders mustered their 9 runs on 9 hits that included 2 homeruns, a solo shot by Hunter Dawson and a grand slam by Kurt Dudley, both in the 2nd inning. Dawson lead the Railroaders' offensive going 2 for 2, scoring 3, 2 walks and hit-by-pitch. The Firebirds only highlight game in the 7th with Blake Slattery hitting a 2-run home run to produce their only score. Winning pitcher was starter Cory White going 7 innings and striking out 8 before giving the 2 run homer. Losing the game for the Firebirds was Josh Manning

Tradewater 11, Union City 4
The Tradewater Pirate visited Union City for opening night and beat the Greyhounds. Tradewater scored 4 in the 5th and 6th innings. Michael Finigan was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's. Luke Putnam and Ryan O' Gara had 2 hits each for the Hounds. Jon Ivie also added 2 RBI's. Seth McCabe was the winning hurler for the Pirates with Troy Dickman picking up the save. Justin Devoe got the loss for UC

Friday, May 30, 2008

Woods to start Game 2

Nineteen-year-old Bobby Woods, a Terre Haute, Ind., native, will start for Marion in Saturday night's game at Owensboro. Woods is one of five pitcher-only players for the Bobcats.
The big right-hander pitched for Olney (Ill.) Central College this college season before coming to the Bobcats for the summer. He will be relieved by fielder-pitcher Mitch McClay. Kyle Medley and Logan Thomas, both straight pitchers, are set to close for Manager Steve Fowler.
Game time is 7:05 p.m., at Chautauqua Park in Owensboro.

Oilers edge Bobcats

The Bobcats (0-1) came up short on the scoreboard, but played solid enough in a 4-3 loss at Owensboro (1-0) to earn the praise of Manager Steve Fowler.
"Our team looked good," he said after leaving the field at Chautauqua Park. "They represented Marion well and made us proud."
The Oilers scored all four runs off Bobcat starter Bryce Law (0-1). But Fowler said Law pitched six strong innings and was the victim of some defensive miscues. Two of the four Owensboro runs were unearned, coming off defensive errors and a passed ball. 
Law did, however, have difficulty finding the umpire's strike zone, which was low all night Fowler said.
Michael LeMon came on in relief of Law, pitching two scoreless innings.
"He did an outstanding job coming in for Law," Fowler said.
Offensively, the Bobcats manufactured two runs in the fourth inning off Oilers starter Pat Crider (1-0) and came close to knotting the score late in the game.
"We threatened in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth," Fowler said.
The Bobcats generated six hits, including a double by Carterville, Ill.-native Mitch McClay. Owensboro committed one fielding error, too, the manager said.
In the last frame, the Bobcats stranded runners on first and second when Owensboro managed the final out of the game. The Bobcats also stranded three runners on third throughout the game and a total of seven.
"It was a good ballgame," Fowler said. "We were just one big hit away."
Had the Bobcats managed to tie the game or take the lead in the top of the ninth, Kyle Medley was ready take the mound. Instead, Medley and Logan Thomas are slated to close tomorrow night's game against the Oilers in Owensboro.
Bobby Wood will climb the hill to start Game 2 of the opening series. Fowler will send in McClay to relieve Wood if needed. The manager is working with a set relief rotation in order to familiarize himself with the staff. He plans to go with this formula for the first 10 games of the season.
"After 10 games, if we're .500, I'll be happy," he said.
From that point, he will set a starting rotation and know which relievers are best suited for long and short stints.
"It's hard to drag a team out of thin air," he said.
Adam Enloe, tonight's starting catcher, was most impressive, Fowler said. The Denver-area native has struggled adjusting to the muggy heat of laste spring in western Kentucky, but the Fowler said he is already comfortable at the plate.
"He was a threat every time he came up," the skipper said.
Fowler is hoping for better results tomorrow night, taking the solid play already established and working on getting in sync as a team.
"It's just a matter of getting to know each other," he said.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bobcats merchandise available

Superior Trophies in downtown Marion is the exclusive supplier of Bobcats wearable, including adjustable hats and shirts. The store is located at 216 S. Main St., across from City Hall in Marion. Call 270.965.4310 for more information.

Bobcats travel to Owensboro


The Marion Bobcats open the season Friday at the Owensboro Oilers. The game begins at 7:05 p.m., at Chautauqua Park, a 31-acre community park acquired in 1916 and located just off East Parrish Avenue at 1201 Bluff Avenue.

The physical address for the entrance to the park is 1530 McJohnson Avenue, Owensboro. Below are directions to the park from Marion, according to Yahoo! Local Maps(Click on the link for the page.)

Directions to Chautauqua Park
  • Follow US-60 East to Sturgis
  • Turn Right on US-60 toward Morganfield/Henderson - go 9.8 mi
  • Turn Right on EAST 60 BYP - go 2.9 mi
  • Turn Right on US-60 - go 16.7 mi
  • Turn Right on HENDERSON BYP(KY-425) - go 5.1 mi
  • Take ramp onto PENNYRILE PKY N toward PENNYRILE PARKWAY SOUTH - go 1.4 mi
  • Take exit #77/OWENSBORO/AUDUBON PARKWAY EAST onto AUDUBON PKY E - go 23.4 mi
  • Take exit #24A/EAST WILLIAM H NATCHER PARKWAY (US-60)/OWENSBORO BY-PASS onto US-60-BYP E - go 0.7 mi
  • Take exit #2/WEST PARRISH AVENUE/OWENSBORO/CALHOUN onto PARRISH AVE W(KY-81 N) toward OWENSBORO - go 0.5 mi
  • Bear Right to follow KY-81 N - go 2.5 mi
  • Continue on W PARRISH AVE(KY-54) - go 1.0 mi
  • Turn Left on MCJOHNSON AVE - go 0.1 mi
  • Arrive at 1530 MCJOHNSON AVE, OWENSBORO, on the Right

Bobcats open season

THE CRITTENDEN PRESS
Manager Steve Fowler has logged 2,000 miles in the last five months looking for enough players to field the first-ever Marion Bobcats team. He’s kept his cell phone hot, making as many as 150 calls in a night to plug holes in the roster. He’s signed – rather, thought he signed – more than three dozen men to finalize a 22-man roster by opening day, agreeing with the last one over the phone just three days before the first pitch of the season. And, he’s fixed an “I Love My Wife” bumper sticker square on tailgate of his beat-up. Ford Ranger pickup to make amends with the woman who thought he had given up summer baseball two years ago.

Money, too, has been an issue of concern for management as various expenses have grown in the search for players, outfitting the team and making travel and housing arrangements.

But Fowler and General Manager Gordon Guess seem undaunted by the curveballs that have been thrown at management in preparing for Friday’s start to the Bobcats’ inaugural season.

“This community has already gotten behind the team more than at any time in my eight years at Dawson Springs,” the former Tradewater Pirates coach told the crowd gathered at Monday’s Meet the Bobcats gala.

Nineteen of the team’s college-age players were introduced to fans and investors at the affair. The remaining players are expected this week and next to complete the roster for the KIT League team.

The Bobcats open the 50-game season on the road at 7:05 p.m., Friday against the Owensboro Oilers at Chautauqua Park. The field is located about 85 miles away at 1201 Bluff Ave., Owensboro.

“We can’t win ‘em all,” Fowler said, “but we’ll be competitive in every game.”

After a three-game set at the Oilers, Marion travels to Riverside Park to face the team Fowler once coached, Tradewater. Games Monday and Tuesday each start at 7 p.m., at the ballpark, which is just off U.S. 62 West at the Dawson Springs city limit.
Some last-minute construction should have the new concession stand at Gordon B. Guess Field ready for the Bobcats’ home debut on June 4. The game starts at 7:05 p.m., and opens a seven-game home stand.

“Marion is a good fit for the league,” league Commissioner Randy Morgan told the Meet the Bobcats crowd. “Hopefully, at this time next year you’ll be preparing for your second season.”

If the fans will fill seats for 25 home games, Guess said, that should be no problem.

2008 printable schedule


Click on the images above to download a colorful, printable 2008 schedule for the Marion Bobcats. Play begins Friday at Owensboro with the first home game slated for June 4 at Marion Crittenden County Park.
If you would like to sign up for notification of updates to this Web site, send your e-mail address to marionbobcats@yahoo.com with BOBCATS in the subject line. We will notify you each time new information is added to this site.

Season-opening roster


The season-opening roster for the Marion Bobcats has been release and can be downloaded here. There are multiple changes from previous roster made available to the public, but Manager Steve Fowler has settle on these 22 players to begin play Friday at Owensboro.
If you would like to sign up for notification of updates to this Web site, send your e-mail address to marionbobcats@yahoo.com with BOBCATS in the subject line. We will notify you each time new information is added to this site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Meet the Bobcats Monday

Marion baseball fans will have an opportunity to get a firsthand look at their new team before the players even don their uniform.

Much of the team has been seen practicing together nightly at Marion-Crittenden County Park. On Monday, a Meet the Bobcats dinner will bring the 22-man roster, its management and the public together for an informal meeting four days before KIT League action begins on May 30.

According to General Manager Gordon Guess, the barbecue-and-all-the-fixin's dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., in the high school multi-purpose room. The meal, which includes a drink, will be only $5.

The cost of the function is being underwritten by several Marion attorneys.

Guess said Manager Steve Fowler plans to "make a big deal" out of handing the players their uniforms that night. It won't be the first time the players have met one another, but it will be the first time they are introduced to the public.

“We want the community to be able to bond with these guys,” Fowler added. “It helps the players to identify, too.”

The Bobcats will host their first game June 4.

Bobcats' exhibition moved

The Marion Bobcats’ exhibition game originally scheduled for next week has been moved to next month.

Gordon Guess, Bobcats general manager, said Tuesday’s exhibition against the Evansville Outlaws has been rescheduled for June 19. The Outlaws are a semi-pro team that has sent several players to the big leagues.

“Those guys are real competitive,” said Guess.

The June 19 game is an exhibition and will not count in the KIT League standings.

Though Guess did not say why the game was postponed, the June 19 date became available when the Bobcats were forced to delay a road trip to Farmington because of scheduling problems for the host team. The three-game set at Farmington has been reslated with an afternoon contest on June 21 and an afternoon doubleheader on June 22.

The Outlaws exhibition game will begin at 7:30 p.m., at Gordon B. Guess Field. Ticket prices will be the same as regular season games, $5 for adults and $3 for children. All proceeds from the gate will go to the Marion-Crittenden County Park Board.

Bobcat tryouts Saturday

By CHRIS HARDESTY
THE CRITTENDEN PRESS
May 22, 2008

Rocket senior pitcher/catcher Jacob McMican will get a golden opportunity to showcase his talent Saturday when he tries out for the new collegiate summer league Marion Bobcat baseball team.

McMican, who signed with Three Rivers Junior College in Poplar Bluff, Mo., earlier this spring, will try out as a pitcher this weekend.

“I am going to try out just for the experience factor,” he said.

While listing the this year’s Class A Second Region Tournament title and his team's quest for a Fifth District Tournament trophy as major feats, he said making the roster would rank right there with them.

“It would be one of the biggest thrills of my baseball career,” said the Crittenden County High School senior.

The right-hander is 3-6 with a 3.03 ERA and has walked 18 batters through 40 innings. A problem he admits has been his control at time. He has hit no batters, tops on the Rocket pitching staff

McMican knows he is going to have to be better this weekend than he has been over his last two starts if he hopes to make the Bobcat roster.

“Pitching sometimes comes and goes. I just have to hit my spots and trust my defense,” he said.

If things do not pan out Saturday, the senior plans on playing American Legion ball at Lyon County for the second straight summer.

Tryouts are open to any college-eligible players, no matter their hometown. Players selected by Bobcats Manager Steve Fowler will be utilized as reserves, serving as backup in case any of the original 22-man roster becomes injured or has to leave the team for other reasons.

Tryouts begin at 2 p.m., at Marion-Crittenden County Park. Prospective players must report to the park at 1 p.m., however, and pay a $10 registration fee. For more information, contact Fowler at 875-6888 or 332-8322.

4 Bobcats drop out

A top prospect, a right-handed pitcher and two replacement players appear to have forfeited their roster spots on the Marion Bobcats this week.

According to General Manager Gordon Guess, original shortstop Zach Gerler was forced out due to family obligations. Gerler was signed by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school. Also, Michael Lane, a pitcher included on the original roster, dropped out.

And on Monday, Guess learned that 6-6 fireballer Greg Krause from the University of Utah may not be able to report as Lane’s replacement. The same day, Tyler Rehmel, an infielder with Eastern Kentucky University, also indicated he would not be coming to Marion. The KIT League veteran had signed to replace another infielder who had left the team weeks earlier.

Replacements are being sought by Manager Steve Fowler, said Guess, but no new players had been signed at this time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bobcats host tryouts Saturday

The Marion Bobcats are seeking reserves for the 2008 baseball season.

Though the 22-man roster for the KIT League entry has been set for the team's inaugural campaign, General Manager Gordon Guess said there is still a need for reserves in the event of injury or other reason that may cause an already-signed player to miss games. The only requirement to tryout is that prospective players be college-eligible.

Manager Steve Fowler will hold tryouts Saturday at Marion-Crittenden County Park. Trials will begin at 2 p.m., but players hoping to make the team as a backup must report by 1 p.m., with their own gear. A registration fee of $10 is also required.

Guess said more than a half-dozen prospects have already signed on for the tryouts.

The collegiate summer league team begins the 50-game season May 30 at Owensboro and hosts its first home game June 4.

For more information on tryouts, contact Guess at 965-2750 or Fowler at 875-6888.

More on the team can be found online at MarionBobcats.com.

90-mph hurler added to roster

A 6-6 fireballer was added last week to the Bobcats opening day roster.

Greg Krause, a junior with the University of Utah baseball team, recorded seven strikeouts in only nine and two-thirds innings for the Utes this season. Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said the 240-pound right-hander should keep opposing batters on their toes.

"He can throw 90-plus," Guess said of Krause's fastball.

Krause replaces Michael Lane, a right-handed pitcher who plays his college ball at Brescia University in Owensboro. Lane had to back out of his season commitment for undisclosed reasons.

One of the team's top prospects, Zach Gerler, has also opted out of his contract with the Bobcats this summer. A 20-year-old shortstop, Gerler was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school but he did not sign, opting instead to sharpen his skills at Lincoln Trail College.

"He was our best player," Guess said.

To replace Gerler, Guess and Manager Steve Fowler are looking at separate prospects from Michigan State and Texas universities.

More player housing needed

Some late cancellations and logistics have sent Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess scrambling to find hosts for some of the 22 players on Marion’s new collegiate summer league baseball team.

Accomodations for all players had once been sewn up, but as players began to report over the weekend, plans had to be alterned. Housing has been found for the dozen or so players already in town, but some players still participating in their college conference tournaments may not have a home to report to if more hosts are not found soon.

Guess said a few of the players who have reported were juggled from their initial assignments to alternate locations because a few hosts had backed out of earlier commitments to house players.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Guess said Sunday of the housing changes.

He is still in need of a couple locations to house players before the season starts May 30. The college-age men, Guess said, need little more than a place to lay their heads at night for the 50-game schedule. Guest rooms are ideal, he pointed out.

Anyone wishing to volunteer housing for Bobcat playes can reach Guess at 965-2750.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Marion back on the basepaths

By GARRET MATHEWS
EVANSVILLE COURIER & PRESS
Monday, May 12, 2008

MARION, Ky. — Spend two hours with Gordon Guess and it never comes up that the 71-year-old Crittenden County man is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank board of directors in Louisville.

He'd much rather talk baseball.

"Let me show off one of my prized possessions," Guess drawls as he reaches into his billfold and pulls out a baseball card. "That's me when I went to the Los Angeles Dodgers' fantasy camp in 1987. I led my team in hitting and they nicknamed me 'Big Scoop' for my exploits at first base."

Since January, Guess has been consumed with bringing organized baseball back to these parts for the first time since 1949.

He's raised money. He's spearheaded efforts to improve the field that bears his name. He negotiated a deal to get 250 seats for a dollar apiece that once were in the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Proof of general manager's success takes the form of a ball cap in his living room with the big "M" on the front.

"Isn't that about the prettiest thing you've ever seen?"

The Marion Bobcats will become the sixth entry in the K.I.T. (Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee) League that provides a wooden-bat summer season for college-eligible players.

The 22 Bobcats report on May 18. The 50-game campaign begins May 30. Squad members will stay with host families. Each player is assessed a $250 fee. There will be a tryout to get names of a half-dozen or so players who can be added to the roster in the event of injury or homesickness.

The other teams are based in Owensboro, Ky., Dawson Springs, Ky., Fulton, Ky., Union City, Tenn., and Farmington, Mo. Games will be nine innings and the designated hitter will be used. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

"The Cape Cod (Mass.) League gets more media attention for its wooden-bat league and they attract guys from the larger schools, but there's still plenty of talent out there," Guess says. "Our team has a lot of players from the area, but we're also bringing 'em in from as far away as Colorado and Florida."

Guess grew up in Tennessee and was a "pretty good" high school baseball player.

"But I went to Vanderbilt and found out about beer-drinking and didn't even try to get a scholarship."

He was president of the People's Bank of Marion from 1973 until last year when he retired. He coached Little League and Pony League baseball teams for many years and broadcasts games of the Crittenden High School Rockets.

"The last organized summer-league ball we had here was the old Twin-State League," Guess recalls. "There were town teams from Burna and Salem and places like that. Some of the guys were as old as 50. One team had a father-and-son combination for second base and shortstop, so you're not talking about a tremendous ability level.

"I was there as a kid in 1949 for the last game. The players from Smithland and Marion got into a huge fight. Hotheads were in the middle of the infield duking it out. The commissioner threw both teams out of the league and that's been it for baseball until now."

Guess was approached about forming a team after the Sikeston, Mo., entry folded after the K.I.T. (Kitty) League's 2007 season.

"I thought we were too small. Hey, Marion only has about 3,000 people. I let the word kinda dribble out — you know, not expecting much — and it wasn't any time when we had 20, including me, who put up a thousand bucks."

Steve Fowler of Hansen, Ky., who previously coached the Dawson Springs, Ky., Tradewater Pirates, agreed to be the Bobcat's field boss. Guess has been doing everything from pricing concession items to talking Coca-Cola into donating the scoreboard to buying the maple and ash bats.

"If we can average 150 people, we can come close to breaking even. But I'm not looking to make a penny. This is entertainment, a civic duty kind of thing. The nearest big place to get a good meal and have your choice of movies is Paducah. We want to give the people around here something to do."

It won't affect many of the players who range in ages from 19 to 22, but Marion is in a dry county.

"Shoot, they won't have time for that sort of thing. We'll get 'em up at 9 a.m. to do laundry. Then we'll have a three-hour practice that'll last into the afternoon. The guys will go home, get some rest and come back at 5:30 for the 7 p.m. game."

Guess suffered a broken leg in February and gets around on a walker. The style of the man who plays racquetball and tennis and even surfs — "Got me a board in the basement" — has been severely cramped.

"My office is my sofa."

The telephone rings. The caller informs the general manager that he won't be able to keep three Bobcats as planned.

"Dang it. We can't put those boys in cubbyholes," Gordon Guess snorts.

In keeping with the small-town theme, the team will offer reduced-price tickets on Church Night and Farmers Night.

"Will baseball be back for a second year? I have no idea. I do know that 20 guys spoke with their wallets. We'll have opening day and go from there."

(This story is reprinted here with permission from Mathews and the Evansville Courier & Press.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bobcats adjust roster

Beginning Wednesday, Marion Bobcat players will be arriving in Marion to start practice and get settled into their housing assignments for the summer. But some last-minute adjustments to the 22-man roster last week has juggled the line-up, adding a power-hitting Kitty League veteran, a run-producing infielder and a defensive specialist to replace three previously-signed players.

Tyler Rehmel, a junior at Eastern Kentucky University, will return to the Kitty League in 2008 trading his orange and brown Fulton Railroaders uniform for the blue and red of the Bobcats. A utility infielder, Rehmel is one of the top sluggers for the Colonels, ranking second on the team in home runs (4), RBI (37) and doubles (11) as of May 4. He is a native of Jasonville, Ind., and plays second and third base as well as shortstop.

An transfer at EKU from Lincoln Trail Community College in Robinson, Ill., he will replace Mark Hartsfield, an infielder-outfield for the University of Tennessee at Martin who was headed to the Bobcats with is twin brother, Miles Hartsfield, also an infielder-outfielder at UT-Martin.

Miles Hartsfield will be replaced in the line-up by another big bat who plays both corner infield positions. Lucas Cramsey, a 6-4, 200-pounder, finished the season at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., leading his team in RBI with 31. He also sports a .373 batting average, second on the Wildcats roster, and more hits (50) than any of his teammates. Cramsey, a junior, also has some speed, leading his team with four triples and 14 stolen bases in 18 attempts.

One of Cramsey's Culver-Stockon teammates will replace and injured Wes Caldwell behind the plate. Adam Enloe, one of three catcher-only players on the Bobcats roster, played in 14 of the Wildcats' 44 games. The college junior, a transfer from Cochise College in Arizona, will join Trent Bierman of Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., and Mike Reed of Oakland City (Ind.) University in the catcher's position.

Caldwell, a football and baseball athlete at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., had to withdraw from his commitment to the Bobcats after pulling his hamstring. At Lexington Catholic High School, Caldwell was a standout on both the gridiron and the diamond, winning a state championship in 2006 with the school's baseball team.

The Hartsfields, Dickson, Tenn., natives, withdrew due to family obligations. Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said last-minute changes with the young college-age players in the Kitty League are fairly common.