Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fowler excited about pitching staff

Manager Steve Fowler expects this year's club to be the best in its three-year history. The only manager the Bobcats have known, Fowler touts his pitching staff as the area of biggest improvement over previous years, despite the loss of three pitchers in the last week.

"I'm optimistic every year, but I think this is the year," Fowler said Sunday. "We have four really good pitchers who should anchor the staff."

Justin O'Brien, who struck out 83 batters in only 51.2 innings with the team in 2009; Tomas Rodriguez, the team's first player from Puerto Rico; and Curran McNeely, who will pitch for Murray State University next year, will enter the season as starters. All pitch from the right side of the mound, and Fowler expects O'Brien to start Friday's season opener against Farmington.

"Tomas is the real deal," Fowler added.

Austin Park, one of only two lefties remaining on the staff, has been tapped as the early-season closer. Fowler said Park posted one of the lowest earned run averages in the nation during the college season.

At the plate, too, fans should see more power.

"We've got five guys who can blow it out of the park," the manager said.

In the team's first two seasons, only 14 home runs have been hit by all players combined.

Fowler said there is also plenty of speed up and down the lineup, which not only helps on the base paths but also on defense.

Friday's season opener begins at 7:05 p.m. at Guess Field in Marion. Farmers Bank and Trust Co. is sponsoring the night, with numerous drawings and give-aways planned for fans.

Second lefty leaves team

Zach Adkins, a left-handed pitcher from Delaware State University, left the Bobcats this weekend. According to Manager Steve Fowler, Adkins became homesick and wanted to spend his summer away from classes nearer his Delaware home.

Adkins' departure is the third pitcher lost this week, and the second lefty on a staff that included four southpaws just three days ago. As of today, the Bobcats are one man short of the 24-man roster allowed each KIT League team. The pitching staff is down to 10, with eight throwing from the right side.

Late last week, Walter Bishop, the other left-hander, and Cody Tellor were forced to take the summer off due to injuries. One pitcher, right-handed Caleb Luttrell was added.

Two pitchers out for season

The Bobcats lost two pitchers late last week due to injuries, just days before the season is set to start on Friday.

Walter Bishop, a southpaw from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and Cody Tellor, a righty from Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Ky., were taken off the roster due to undisclosed injuries. They will be replaced by another Mid-Continent right-handed thrower, Caleb Luttrell of Murphysboro, Ill.

The Bobcats roster, at 25 prior to the season-ending injuries, is now at the league requirement of 24 players.

The first pitch of the season will be at 7:05 p.m., Friday against the Farmington Browns at Gordon Blue Guess Field in Marion.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bobcats open 2010 season Friday

For the first time in the team's three year history, the Marion Bobcats will open the baseball season at home.

The Bobcats will begin a four-game home stand Friday to start the 2010 KIT League season. Game time will be at 7:05 p.m., at Gordon Blue Guess Field at Marion-Crittenden County Park. Marion will face the Farmington Browns, a team making its league debut on the field.

Opening night will also be Farmers Bank Night, with the local bank hosting give-aways and drawings for prizes.

The remaining schedule for the coming week includes a Saturday double header against Farmington and the final game of the home stand on June 7 against the Fulton Railroaders. Saturday's twin bill begins at 5:05 p.m., with the second game following the first seven-inning affair after a brief intermission. The first pitch of the June 7 game will be at 7:05 p.m.

Crittenden County High School's baseball and softball teams will be the focus of Saturday's promotions. The Peoples Bank will be hosting the June 7 game.

Admission for games is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under.

City presents flag to Bobcats

Marion Mayor Mickey Alexander last month presented representatives of the Marion Bobcats with a flag that will be flown over center field this summer. The Bobcats flag was given to the team by the City of Marion out of its appreciation for the commerce and tourism for which the ball club provides. Pictured from left are Gordon Guess, general manager of the club; Bobcat investors Rebecca Johnson, Roger Simpson, Cletus Hunt, Kory Wheeler and Jerry Collins and Mayor Alexander.

Kitty League documentary being produced

A documentary is being produced about the original Kitty League, a Class D Baseball Minor League. Please help by submitting any information you have to or call 270.498.3897.