Sunday, July 28, 2013

Season over for Bobcats


The Railroaders will continue to the final third and championship round of the playoffs after beating back the Bobcats on Saturday. The defeat sends the Bobcats home for the year after finishing last in the regular season but rebounding and advancing one round in post season play. As in 2012, the Railroaders and Hoppers will once again face off for the Post Season Champion title. Fulton will host game one of the best of three series on Monday.

The Railroaders took a 1-0 lead over the Bobcats in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded, Taylor Douglas scored from third off a RBI single by Cody Burton.
    
Top of the fourth inning, the Bobcats used a Railroaders error and a homerun from Jarrett Rice for two RBI to take a 2-1 lead.
    
Fulton tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth when Matt Skrzpiec walked, advanced to third and scored as Kyle Simmons reached on a fielder's choice with a force out at second. The Railroaders put up two more in the seventh with a RBI double by Ramon Valdez and a Hunter Owen RBI single. Cody Burton added his second RBI in the eighth to complete the final 5-2 score..
    
Fulton starter John Lollar pitched for six innings leaving the game tied at two. Lollar allowed only one earned run, one walk and struck out seven. Jake Shadix gets the win pitching two innings giving up two hits, no runs or walks, and issued three strikeouts. Caleb Shelly takes a save for finishing the ninth, and struck out two of the three batters faced.
    
Marion starter Trevor Guthrie threw for 4 innings leaving the Bobcats with a one run lead.  Luke MacDonald completed the last four innings and is tagged for the loss allowing four earned runs from the mound.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fulton blanks Bobcats in Game 1 of 2nd round

After advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, the Bobcats dropped Game 1 of the best-of-three Ohio Valley League semi-finals. Fulton blanked Marion 9-0 at Guess Field on Friday, forcing the Bobcats to win Saturday and Sunday at the Railroaders to advance to the league championship series for the first time in the team's six-year history.

Bobcats advance in playoffs with 4-1 win over Pirates

Marion advanced to the second round of the Ohio Valley League playoffs with a 4-1 win Thursday night at Madisonville. The Bobcats will host Fulton tonight at 7:05 p.m. for Game 1 of a best-of-three series. Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be at Fulton Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

OVL playoffs set to begin

In their second season with the Ohio Valley League, the Hopkinsville Hoppers have again taken the regular season pennant. The Fulton Railroaders and Madisonville Pirates followed suit with a repeat finish of second and third, respectively, in the standings. The newcomers, Dubois County Bombers, were the only team to complete a full 45-game schedule and finished fourth in the standings. The Owensboro Oilers take the fifth spot falling short of the Bombers, and the Marion Bobcats ended up in sixth place struggling with numerous injuries throughout the season. 

The playoff championship rounds begin on today with a single game--Round 1 between the four lower seeded teams. The higher seeds are home teams for the Round 1 single games. Rounds 2 and 3 are best-of-three series; the first game the lower seeds are home teams, for the second and third (if necessary) games the higher seeds are home teams.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ohio Valley League 2013 season leaders


The final games of the 2013 regular season are concluded. The individuals below are players who qualified in the 45-game schedule and led the league in the regular season in 10 selected Ohio Valley League titles.

Click here for regular season pitching stats.

Click here for regular season batting stats.

Bobcats double header cancelled

Today's Bobcats double header against Hoptown at Guess Field has been cancelled due to poor field conditions after last night's heavy rains. Marion will start the postseason on the road Thursday with a one-game playoff at Madisonville. The winner will advance to Round 2 to host Fulton Friday in Game 1 of a best-of-three series.

Marion finished the regular season with a winless July.

Marion drops both ends of double header

FROM FULTON
The Railroaders' doubleheader sweep over the Bobcats on Tuesday clinches Fulton's second place standing for the 2013 regular season. The Railroaders take 2nd seed for the Post Season Playoffs with a bye form the single game Round 1 on Thursday. Fulton will begin Round 2 (best-of-three series) on Friday at the winner of Round One, Madisonville or Marion, who are the now No. 3 and No. 6 seeds, respectively, for postseason play.
    
In Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader, both teams where held scoreless through two and half innings. In the bottom of the third, Fulton took a 1-0 lead when Taylor Stoulp led off with single, reached third base on a hit-and-run sacrifice by Cody Burton, and score on a RBI single by Michael Diaz. 
    
The shutout continued for the Bobcats and the Railroaders topped off their total score in the sixth inning. Taylor Douglas singled, advanced to third and scored from a Hunter Owen RBI single. Owen later scored on a Bobcat error. A third run for the inning came from a second RBI single by Michael Diaz driving in Garret O'Neill who was hit by a pitch, advanced on the error and stole third base.
    
Winning pitcher and starter John Lollar threw for the full seven innings.  Lollar gave up only one hit and walk, and struck out six at the plate. Taking the loss for Marion was Jackson Miles who completed a full six innings. Miles also had six strikeouts, he walked two, allowed eight hits and was pinned for four runs, only one earned.  Box Scores Click Here.

In the nightcap, both teams were better at the plate.The Bobcats led off the scoring in the first inning getting one run across.  Cody Brown walked to start the game, was advanced to third off single and a ground out, then scored from a Tyler Bonaventure RBI single.
    
The Railroaders answered in the bottom of the first with seven big runs. Both Ramon Valdez and Taylor Stoulp each had 3 RBI homers to highlight the inning. The Railroaders hit six of their total eight game hits in the first inning alone.
    
Marion put up another run in the second inning with Joe Tourville reaching on a double, going to third on a wild pitch, and scoring on a ground out RBI.
    
Fulton added their final run in third.  Colton Simbeck was hit by pitch, stole second, then made home on a Bobcat error.
    
The Bobcats clawed back in the sixth and seventh with one run in each inning. Tyler Bonaventrue hit a solo home run, and Brandon Waltman singled for a RBI driving in Joe Tourville who had reached on a singled.
    
Tyler Saltsman earned the win going seven full innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs, two walks and had nine strikeouts. Bobcat starter Blake Thomas takes the loss for 2 2/3 innings of work giving up seven hits, eight runs (six earned), three walks and struck out two batters. Scooter Hightower for three innings and Tyler Bonaventure for 1/3 finished the game for Marion.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Game at Fulton postponed

The game for tonight in Fulton was  postponed due to poor field condition after Sunday night's 2 inches of rain. The game will be played Tuesday in Fulton as part of a doubleheader with the first game starting at 5 p.m.  Each game will be seven innings.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hopkinsville wraps up regular-season crown

In their second year in the Ohio Valley League, the Hoptown Hoppers will once again take the circuit's regular season crown. With only four games remaining, the Hopkinsville squad (31-10) maintains a six game lead over second-place Fulton.

Marion can finish no better than last place, but the postseason seeding for the remaining four teams—Fulton, Madisonville, Dubois County and Owensboro—is still in question. The Bobcats will begin the playoffs Thursday at the No. 3 seed.

The first- and second-place squads will get a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Tonight's game rained out

Tonight's game has been rained out.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bobcats lose rain-shortened game

The Bobcats fell to the Bombers Saturday 3-8 in a rain-shortened contest. The loss dropped Marion to 6-34 with only five games remaining before the postseason begins Thursday. It was the 16th consecutive loss for Marion. In fact, the Bobcats are winless this month.

Scooter Hightower provided all of the offense for Marion, going 2-for-2 with 3 RBI. He also pitched three scoreless innings in the six-inning affair.

Marion drops to 6-33

FROM OWENSBORO
The Owensboro Oilers won their Friday night game at home hosting the visiting Marion Bobcats by a 7-2 final score.
   
The Oilers got out to a an early lead with one run in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Bobcats showed they had come to play with a tying run in the top of the 3rd inning. The game went back and forth for a time, as Owensboro pushed across a run in the bottom of the 5th inning. Marion matched up with a run in the top of the 6th inning, and as late as six complete innings, the game was tied 2-2. The Oilers claimed the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning and two runs in the bottom of the 8th.
   
Scoring for the Oilers were: Tyler Tichenor (2), Cameron Wallace, Cody Rogers, Logan Leverett (2), and Matthew Johnson. The four Owensboro RBIs belonged to: Tichenor, Dalton West, and Stone Osborne (2).
   
Scoring for the Bobcats were: Brooks Balisterri and Tyler Simmons. Marion RBIs belonged to: Paul Angel, and Scooter Hightower.
   
Owensboro starter Shane Weedman pitched 8 of 9 innings for the win. Jason Jones worked a perfect 9th to close. Bobcat starter Drew Shoulders lost, but provided a quality start before the home team finally got to him.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hoppers defeat Bobcats 6-2

Marion managed two runs off of only four hits Thursday at Guess Field en route to a 2-6 loss to the league-leading Hoppers.

Brooks Balisterri contributed two singles for the Bobcats (6-32). Tyler Boxwell and Paul Angel, Marion's top hitter, each drove in a run.

On the hill, Tyler Simmons took the loss for Marion, but only two of the six runs he allowed in 6 1/3 innings were earned. Scooter Hightower closed the game with 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hoptown hands Marion 31st loss

Hoptown beat Marion Wednesday night to send the Bobcats to their record 31st loss, and 13th straight loss on the season. The Bobcats rest 21.5 games out of first place and 11.5 games behind fifth-place Dubois County, guaranteeing the team a last-place finish in the Ohio Valley League.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fulton doubles up on Marion

The Railroaders sent Marion to its 30th loss of the season Tuesday, tying the franchise's all-time season loss total. The 6-30 Bobcats fell to Fulton 5-10 at Guess Field.

Trevor Guthrie pitched four strong innings to start the game, giving up only one run one four hits. He was relieved for two innings by David Herrera, who took the loss after giving up four runs, though only one was earned. Drew Shoulders gave up five runs in the final three innings for Marion.

On offense, Paul Angel was 3-for-5 with a double and run batted in. Tyler Odom was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Brooks Balisterri scored two and had two RBI on a single. Tyler Bonaventure added a double and Jarrett Rice a triple for the Bobcats. Bonaventure and Joe Tourville each pushed a run across the plate.

Owensboro outlasts Bobcats

The Bobcats fell 9-12 in 12 innings Monday to Owensboro at Guess Field.

Marion entered the final frame of regulation with an 8-6 lead, but gave up three runs in the top of the ninth to give Owensboro its first lead since a 1-0 score in the second inning. The Bobcats clawed back in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game after Clint Ambrosch pulled off a rare theft of home plate after leading off the inning with a triple.

The bullpens kept each offense quiet until the 12th when Luke MacDonald gave up the three winning runs to the Oilers in his third inning of work. Marion was unable to generate anything at the plate, ending the game on three fly outs.

Owensboro tallied 17 hits. Marion managed 10 with Brooks Balisterri, Aaron King and Tyler Odom contributing two hits each, with one of Odom's hits coming on a double. Odom and Balisterri also had 2 RBI each. Paul Angel hit a solo home run for Marion.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bobcats fall to 6-28 after Saturday forfeit

Marion's 10th consecutive loss came in a 0-9 forfeit loss at Madisonville Saturday.

Madisonville (18-16) moved into third place in the standings with the win.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Marion drops 9th in a row

Friday saw the Bobcats fall for the ninth straight game—a 4-19 loss to Madisonville at Guess Field. Marion (6-27) has allowed 59 runs in the last five games during the losing streak.

The Bobcats' offense put together nine hits.  Paul Angel was 3-for-5 with an RBI, Tyler Bonaventure was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Brooks Ballisterri was 2-for-4, including a double with a run scored.  Scooter Hightower and Tyler Odom each added a single.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bobcats allow 10 again, take loss

For the fourth straight game, Marion gave up 10 runs Thursday en route to a loss. For the second consecutive night, it was Dubois County that took advantage of Bobcat pitching, earning a 10-2 win at Guess Field.

The Bobcats fell to 6-26. The Bombers climbed to fourth in the standings with the victory.

At the plate for Marion, Tyler Bonaventure was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Cody Brown, Paul Angel, Joe Tourville and Tyler Boxwell each contributed singles.

On the hill, Tyler Mitchell of Dubois County pitched five innings for the win, while Tyler Simmons gave up nine runs in the same five innings, taking the loss for Marion. In relief, Blake Thomas threw for three innings, allowing only one Bombers run to cross the plate. Scooter Hightower closed the game with a scoreless inning.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bobcats give up 10 runs for 3rd straight night

The Dubois County Bombers extend their winning streak to two games Wednesday and also return to .500 (16-16) on the season after beating Marion, 10-6. The Bombers entered the game in fifth place, three games behind second-place Fulton.

The Bobcats dropped their seventh consecutive game, giving up 10 runs for the third straight night. at 6-25, Marion is just six losses short of tallying the most losses in team history. There are 13 games remaining for the team.

Luke MacDonald took the loss for Marion, giving up six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Drew Shoulders pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing four unearned runs.

At the plate, Brooks Balisterri was a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI. Cody Brown, Tyler Bonaventure and Scooter Hightower added two hits each, with Brown registering a triple and Bonaventure recording at double.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Owensboro prevails 10-7 Tuesday

FROM OWENSBORO
The Owensboro Oilers prevailed in a drawn out game Tuesday evening with the visiting Marion Bobcats. The home team won it 10-7.

Marion scored first with two runs in the top of the first inning. Cody Brown led off with an inside the park home run, driving himself in. One out later Clint Ambrosch singled, then eventually scored when Tyler Odom reached on an error.

Owensboro answered with a run in the bottom of the first. Tyler Tichenor led off with a single, then stole both second and third bases. He scored one out later on a RBI sacrifice fly by Logan Leverett.
    
The Bobcats made it 3-1 by adding one run in the top of the second inning. Aaron King singled to begin the frame. He scored with one out on a RBI fielder's choice by Ambrosch.
    
The Oilers tied things up at 3 with single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. In the third, Cameron Wallace reached on an error and scored on a RBI single by Logan Leverett. In the fourth, Dalton West walked and eventually scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by Christian McHatton. After the fourth inning the game was tied 3-3.
    
The game turned on the fifth inning. Marion pushed across a go-ahead run in the top half. Paul Angel reached on a fielder's choice. He stationed the bases on a wild pitch, a single, and a RBI sacrifice fly by Odom.
    
Owensboro responded with six runs in the bottom half. Cody Rogers and Hunter Newman walked back to back to start off. Austin Edge followed with a RBI single. scoring Rogers. Stone Osborne walked to load the bases with nobody out. A strikeout and an infield pop risked letting a big inning escape. Then Cameron Wallace RBI walked to plate Newman, keeping the bases loaded. McHatton returned to bat and slugged a grand slam four-RBI home run out over the left field wall. At the end of the 5th inning the Oilers led 9 -4.
    
The Bobcats put together one run each in their portions of the sixth, seventh and eight innings. In the 6th, Brown was hit by a pitch. He stole second base and moved to third base on an error that put Brooks Ballisterri aboard. The two runners launched a double steal and Brown came across before the trail runner was tagged out. The seventh inning saw a one-out single from Angel, scoring with two outs on a RBI double from Odom. Finally, in the top of the eighth. Joe Tourville singled with one away, and he stole second base. Tourville scored on a RBI single by Balisterri.
    
The Oilers closed out the offense with one insurance run in the bottom of the eight inning. Wallace led off with a double, and went to third base on a wild pitch. He scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by Leverett.
    
After eight innings complete the score was 10-7 for the Oilers, and so it remained.
    
Christian McHatton added to his outstanding night at the plate as the Oilers starting pitcher. He worked seven innings, and struck out as many hitters in qualifying for his first Oilers win. Matt Theiss and Edwin Reyes followed in relief--Reyes getting a save. Bobcat reliever David Herrera took the loss.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bobcats fall to Pirates Monday

Marion generated only two hits and committed three errors in a 1-10 loss Monday to Madisonville at Guess Field. The Pirates, meantime, put together 15 hits, including two doubles, two triples and a home run.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the last-place Bobcats (6-23), dropping them 14 games behind first-place Hoptown and 7.5 games behind fifth-place Dubois County. Marion has only 14 scheduled regular season games remaining in the 2013 season.

At the plate Monday, Paul Angel and Jarrett Rice were the only two Bobcats to touch Madisonville pitching for a hit. Rice scored the lone run of the game for Marion.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bobcats drop fourth straight

Marion fell to 13 games out of first place Sunday on the heels of a 4-6 loss to Owensboro with just 14 more days until the regular season ends for all Ohio Valley League teams. The loss was the Bobcats' fourth consecutive.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Marion falls to 12 games out of first

With a 4-5 loss to first-place Hoptown Friday night, the Bobcats fell to 12 games off the pace set by the league-leading Hoppers. That is twice as many games as Marion (6-21) has won all year. The Hoppers (18-9) extended their lead to two games over second-place Fulton.

No matter where the Bobcats finish at the end of the season, they will make the playoffs. All six teams will earn a postseason spot. Currently setting 7.5 games out of fifth place with 17 games left in the regular season, the last-place Bobcats would face the No. 3 seed team should they not claw their way out of sixth place. The top two teams in the league get a bye in the first round of the postseason.

Fulton wins in 10th inning

FROM FULTON
The Railroaders (17-11) narrowing escape with a win in 10 innings over the Bobcats (6-20) on Thursday. Fulton gains a half game on idle Hoptown and is now one game back of the first-place Hoppers.
    
The only offensive highlight for the Railroaders was a three-run homer by Michael Sillyman hit in the third inning giving Fulton a 3-0 lead. The Bobcats scored one unearned run in the fourth inning. Marion tied the game in the eighth inning with two more unearned runs with no hits and two Railroader errors.
    
In the bottom of the 10th reliever Luke MAcDonald walked the bases loaded, one intentional, with two outs. On a 3-1 count to Kyle Simmons at the plate, the next pitch was low and the winning walked in from third.
    
The Railroaders put up 11 hits total but stranded 19 runners on base. The Bobcats only managed two hits and left seven on base.
    
Fulton's starter Garret Ring went eight innings for the two hits allowed, tagged for the unearned runs, walked four and struck out eight batters, no decision. Caleb Shelly and Ryan Skoubo each threw for the final two innings with Skoubo earning the win.
    
Marion's starter Tyler Simmons managed 5 1/3 innings getting hit eight times, giving up three earned runs, five walks and five strikeouts.   MacDonald went 4 1/3 and takes the loss.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bobcats drop close game to surging Fulton

Riding a hot streak, Fulton continued to keep pace with league-leading Hopkinsville Wednesday with a 3-2 victory over the Bobcats at Guess Field.

The Railroaders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth only to be answered by the Bobcats in the bottom of the frame. In the sixth, Fulton tacked on two more runs. Marion's offense pushed one across the plate in the bottom of the inning, but that would be all of the scoring on the night, sending the Bobcats to a 6-19 last-place record.

Fulton, after sitting in fifth place for several days, over the last couple of weeks has pushed ahead of all but Hopkisville, who leads the Railroaders by only 1.5 games.

Bobcats starter Jackson Miles gave up only an unearned run coming off the only error on the night. Reliever David Herrera took the loss after giving up Fulton's two earned runs in the top of the sixth.

At the plate, Cody Brown was 2-for-2, scoring both of Marion's runs. Tyler Bonaventure and Brandon Lawing, each 1-for-4, drove in a run apiece to account for all of the Bobcats' scoring. Bonaventure's hit was a double, the only extra-base hit of the Bobcats' seven-hit tally.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bobcat bats come alive in 15-5 win

The Bobcats' bats came alive Sunday, sending 15 runs across the plate on 22 hits, including five doubles and two home runs. The 15-5 win over Madisonville (12-12) in Greenville was the second victory for Marion (6-18) in the last three games.

Drew Shoulders pitched seven innings for the Bobcats, giving up only three runs for the win. Taylor Burr gave up eight earned runs in the start for Madisonville, taking the loss.

On offense for Marion, Tyler Bonaventure was the star, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI and four runs scored. Clint Ambrosch was 5-for-6 with two RBI. Brandon Lawing was 4-for-6 with two RBI. Tyler Odom had a home run and batted in three. Jarrett Rice added two more RBI and Brooks Balisterri, Wes Evers and Cody Brown each added their own RBI.

Bombers down Bobcats

Dubois County Bombers stayed above the .500 mark on the season with a 12-3 win Saturday over Marion Bobcats. The Bombers used a two out rally to get the scoring going in the frst. It started with Bo Ausmus hitting a double, Andre Davis driving home Ausmus on a RBI single and Chris Tavares finished the inning off with a two RBI double. In the second inning Dubois County batted through the order and tallied five more runs. Marion then held Dubois County scoreless until the sixth, that’s when the Bombers attacked for six hits in the inning.

Kyle Briner took the mound for Dubois County pitching six solid innings and striking out five Marion batters. Briner was breezing through the contest until the Bobcats hitting came alive and scored three runs in the fifth. Cody Brown and Clint Ambrosch had the RBI hits for the Bobcats in the inning. Cody Morris took over for Briner in the seventh, working three scoreless frames to earn the three inning save.

Dubois County saw plenty of contributions from throughout the lineup tonight. Andre Davis led the hitting with four hits and three runs batted in, Eric McKibban had three hits and a RBI, and Bo Ausmus, Tavares, Shain Showers and Jacob Armstrong contributed with two hits each. Dubois County moves the season record to (12-11) with the win and trail first place Hoptown by three games.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Marion splits twin bill, ends losing streak

Marion split a double header at Guess Field Friday against the Dubois County Bombers. By winning the nightcap 4-3, the Bobcats ended an eight-game skid and picked up a half-game on first place Hopkinsville, who lost 15-4 to a Fulton squad on a seven game winning streak.

In Game 1, Dubois County bested Marion 10-6 on eight earned runs, six of which were attributed to starter David Herrera who took the loss in 2 2/3 innings pitched. At the plate for the Bobcats, Clint Ambrosch went 3-for-3 with a run scored and two batted in. Brandon Lawing knocked in two runs on two hits in three at-bats. He also scored a run. Brooks Balisterri was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Wes Evers, who also pitched an inning, was 1-for-2 with a run scored.

It was a wild game off the hill for both teams. Combined, eight batters were hit and four wild pitches were thrown and a passed ball and a balk were recorded.

In Game 2, the Bobcats took a 4-2 lead after five and held off a late rally in the final frame to secure a 4-3 victory and end one of the worst losing streaks in team history at eight games. Starter Dylan Stewart got the win for Marion (5-17) giving up only two runs in 4 1/3 innings. Scooter Hightower, a new addition to the team, gave up only three hits and a run in 2 2/3 innings for the save, only the second of the year for the Bobcats.

On offense, Austin Braddock was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored on a home run in the third. Balisterri, Evers, Ambrosch, Lawing, Cody Brown and Aaron King each added a hit. All were singles but Evers' double, also in the third inning.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Owensboro wins weather-shortened match

FROM OWENSBORO
The Owensboro Oilers won the Wednesday night matchup with the visiting Marion Bobcats. The final score in the game--which was stopped, and eventually called because of lightning with one out and one on in the top of the eighth inning--was 4-3 in Owensboro's favor.
    
The Bobcats scored first with one run in the top of the 1st inning. Leadoff hitter Brooks Balesterri bunted his way on base, then stole second base. He came around to score one out later when Tyler Odom reached on an error.
    
The Oilers also played small ball to draw even with a run in the bottom of the 1st inning. Home leadoff man Tyler Tichenor walked, and was bunted over to second base.Tichneor scored on a RBI single by Cody Rogers. After the first inning, game tied 1-1. Owensboro scored again with one run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Tichenor batted himself in with a solo home run--his second of the season--to account for the scoring. Through the 3rd inning the Oilers led 2-1.
    
Marion took the lead with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Clint Ambrosch was hit by a pitch. Brandon Lawing followed with an RBI triple. A strike out later, a RBI single by Blaine Alvey plated Lawing for the second run. Now the Bobcats led 3-2.

The Oilers responded with one run in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one down, Christian McHatton walked, stole second base, then went to third base on a passed ball. Logan Leverett followed with a RBI single.Owensboro reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brenden Reid led off the inning with a walk. A ground out later, Reid scored from second base on a RBI single off the bat of Taylor Matthews. That run proved to be the difference.


Owensboro starter Cameron Wallace pitced 7 2/3 innings, striking out four on the way to the win. Edwin Reyes got the save in short relief. Marion's only pitcher of the night, starter Tyler Simmons, took the loss in spite of 7 1/3 competitive innings of his own on the mound. The weather that had glowered all night finally asserted itself in high wind and lightning that fronted heavy rainfall. The game beat the weather to a necessary completion point, when the weather beat back, the weather won.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bobcats drop game on controversial home run

The Bobcats dropped their sixth in a row in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday on a controversial home run in the top of the ninth that gave Hoptown all they would need to forge ahead to an 8-6 victory at Guess Field.

Marion (4-15) clawed it's way back from a 2-6 deficit to tie the game going into the final final frame, but with one on and two out in the top of the inning, the Hoptown batter hit a rope down the left field line that Bobcats manager Jake Long argued flew over the fence out of play just outside the foul pole. However, home plate umpire Brian Thomas called the ball fair, giving first-place Hopkinsville (13-6) a two-run lead and, ultimately, the win.

The Bobcats threatened in the bottom of the ninth, though. With two out, the tying run came to the plate in the person of Paul Angel, who had hit a two-run shot out of the park earlier in the night down the right field line. Down to his last strike after taking two rips at pitches, Angel was called out looking by Thomas on a third strike.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bobcats in midst of 2nd 5-game skid

FROM HOPTOWN
Hoptown (12-6) maintained its hold on first place with a 5-3 home win over visiting Marion on Sunday.
    
Marion (4-14) got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning when Brandon Lawing led off and reached on an error, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt, scoring on a double by Brooks Balisterri. Joe Tourville drew a walk, went to second when Cody Brown walked, went to third when Paul Angel walked and scored when Tyler Odom walked, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
    
The Hoppers responded in the bottom half of the inning when Brandon Boggetto popped a one-out solo home run to trim Marion’s lead to 2-1.

Hoptown tied the game in the bottom of the third inning when Mitch Huckabay drew a one-out walk, took second on a balk, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch to knot the game at 2-2.
    
Hoptown took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Brandon Powell led off with a walk, went to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Zac Carter. Carter went to second on a single by Derek Finch and scored on a throwing error to give the Hoppers a 4-2 lead.
    
Marion got back a run when Wes Evers hit a one-out single, stole second, went to third when a Brandon Lawing walk loaded the bases and scored on a wild pitch to cut the Hoptown lead to 4-3.
    
The Hoppers tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth when Derek Ferch belted a one-out triple and scored on a sacrifice bunt to put Hoptown ahead 5-3.

Hoptown was led at the plate by Boggetto, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and a run batted in. Derek Ferch also had two hits and a triple.

Marion was paced by Wes Evers, who went 3-for-5. Brooks Balisterri had a double for the Bobcats.
    
Trevor Blocker (1-1) got the win for the Hoppers in relief, allowing no runs on one hit, striking out two and walking two in 2 1/3 innings. Reese Johnson started for Hoptown, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out four and walking seven in 4 2/3 innings. Brantley Bray came on in the eighth inning, walking one in one-third of an inning before leaving because of an injury. Ryne Long got his third save, allowing no hits and striking out three in 1 2/3 innings.
    
Cody Brown (0-1) started and took the loss for the bobcats, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits, striking out four and walking two in 3 1/3 innings. Drew Shoulders came on in the fourth inning, allowing one run on one hit, striking out two and walking one in two innings. Wes Evers entered in the sixth, allowing no runs on two hits, striking out one in 1 2/3 innings, and Tyler Simmons pitched the ninth inning, walking one.

The five-game losing streak for Marion is its second of the year to go along with a four-game-slide.

The Bobcats are off tonight.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Railroaders run over Bobcats

Marion pitching once again got pounded, giving up 15 earned runs to Fulton tonight in seven innings before Mother Nature called mercy, forcing an end to the contest due to rain and lightning. Meantime, the Bobcats offense managed no runs and only two hits—a double by Tyler Odom and a single off the bat of Brooks Ballisterri. It was the worst loss of the year for the Marion, now 4-13 and seven games off the league lead. The win by Fulton (7-10) put three games of daylight between their fifth-place standing and the last-place Bobcats.

Aaron King, starter for the Bobcats, gave up 11 runs in 3 1/3 innings, taking the loss. Reliever Blane Alvey gave up four more runs in 3 2/3 innings. All 15 runs were earned despite Marion's 16th game with at least one error.

Marion's team ERA went from 5.03 to 5.70 after Saturday's the game.

Fulton managed 12 hits off Marion pitching and coaxed 10 walks. They had only four extra base hits, all doubles. Matt Skrzypiec for the Railroaders was 4-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Marion travels to first-place Hopkinsville Sunday to try and stop a three-game skid.

Marion drops to 6.5 back, loses 3rd straight

The Railroaders (6-10) broke a four game losing streak beating the Bobcats (4-12), sending them to their third straight loss.

Both teams scored a single run in the first inning. In the bottom of the second, the Railroaders busted out, scoring six runs off three homers and a Bobcat error. Marion came back in the third with two runs, and added three in the fourth with a three-run home run. With the score 7-6 in Fulton's favor, the Railroaders answered in the bottom half of the fourth, extending their lead with three more runs. The Bobcats clawed their way back, putting up single runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Ahead 10-8, the Railroaders chalked up two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth for the final 12-8 score.

Marion's Cody Brown (.224, 9 RBI) went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, three runs scored and a stolen base. Marion's top hitter with a .367 average, Paul Angel, went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, and Brandon Lawing (.275, 2 RBI) was also 2-for-5. Austin Braddock accounted for the Bobcats' only other RBI. Crittenden County High School graduate Wes Evers (.245, 4 RBI) was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Brown committed two errors in the field and Lawing accounted for another.

Bobcats starter Blake Thomas was tagged for the loss giving up seven runs (five earned) in 1.2 innings pitched. He gave up all three Fulton home runs.

The two teams meet again on today in Marion at 7:05 p.m. Both teams remain at the bottom in the standings with Fulton staying 4.5 games out of first, and Marion dropping a game to 6.5 back.

Marion's carries a team ERA of 5.03. Meantime, a porous defense has committed 47 errors in only 16 games. The only errorless game of the year was the season-opening 2-4 loss to Owensboro.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jankowski batting .288 in California League

After 68 games in the California League with the high Class A minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres, former Bobcat Travis Jankowski is batting .288 with 52 runs scored and 28 RBI. Jankowski has a .363 on-base percentage for the Lake Elsinore storm.

Bobcats drop both ends of double header

Marion fell to 5.5 games off the league lead after dropping both ends of a double header against Madisonville Thursday.

In the first game, the Pirates lit up the scoreboard with eight runs on nine hits in seven innings, downing the Bobcats 8-2. Marion managed eight hits but pushed across only two runs off starter Heath Kelley, who earned the complete-game victory. Bobcats starter Luke MacDonald gave up seven earned runs in five innings, taking the loss. At the plate for Marion, Brandon Lawing went 2-for-3 and Tyler Odom went 2-for-4. Cody Brown had the team's only RBI. Paul Angel added a double, the team's sole extra-base hit of the night.

In the nightcap, it took extra innings for the Pirates (10-6) to become the first team in the league with double-digit wins. Madisonville and former Bobcats manager Steve Fowler earned the 5-4 victory in the eighth when leadoff hitter Samuel Gilbert reached after being hit by a pitch. After stealing second base, he was batted home on a sacrifice bunt from Gooch Greer after a Marc Noyalis single to break the 3-3 tie. Noyalis would also come around to score after an Austin Shives double. The Bobcats (4-11) fought back in the bottom of the eighth with the first two batters reaching base on singles. Blaine Alvey and Brooks Balisterri were both moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Cody Brown, but the Bobcats could move only Alvey across the plate on a Tyler Odom ground out RBI. Tyler Boxwell went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Bobcats.

Double header games are only seven innings unless extra frames are needed to break a tie.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bobcats tighten standings

Marion posted a 7-6 win at Madisonville Wednesday to tighten Ohio Valley League standings. The Bobcats, on a two-game winning streak, picked up a full game on the Pirates and Bombers and a half-game on the idle Railroaders and Oilers.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ptiching staff shuts down Bombers, earns 2-1 win

For the second time in as many nights, the Bobcats had to go to 11 innings to settle the contest. On Saturday night, however, it was Marion (3-9) coming out on top, earning the team's first extra-inning win of the year and snapping a five-game skid.

Saturday's 2-1 win at Dubois County (7-6), more importantly, was a victory for a pitching staff that been pushed around all season by opposing offenses. With a quarter of the season in the books, the game was the first time in 2013 the Bobcats held the opposition to fewer than three runs.

Though Madisonville won to keep grasp of first place in the Ohio Valley League and remain five games in front of last-place Marion, the Bobcats picked up a full game on Fulton, Dubois County and Owensboro, tightening the standings in the second division.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oilers nip Bobcats in extra innings

Marion (2-9) took Owensboro (6-4) to extra innings Friday night but the Oilers scored a walk-off run in the bottom of the 11th to take the game 9-8 and continue the Bobcats' skid to a season-high five games. Marion has lost both its extra-inning games this year.

The team's pitching woes continue. The Bobcats have given up twice as many runs (93) as they have scored (47) in 11 games.

In last place, Marion is a full five games off the pace set by Madisonville

Friday, June 14, 2013

Owensboro shells Bobcats 14-2

Marion's pitching staff got shelled again Thursday night, giving up 14 runs on 14 hits, 10 bases on balls and three errors. The Bobcats (2-8) dropped their fourth straight in the 2-14 loss to Owensboro (5-4).

On the mound for the Bobcats, Tyler Simmons gave up seven earned runs in only three innings for the loss. In relief, Aaron King gave up another seven runs--only four earned, however--in 1.2 innings of work. Blake Thomas finished the final 4.1 innings of the game, holding the Oilers scoreless.

At the plate, Marion managed only four hits. Joe Tourville had one of those and tallied the sole RBI for the Bobcats.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bobcats drop 3rd straight

FROM HOPKINSVILLE
The host Hoptown Hoppers broke open a 1-1 tie with two unearned runs in the sixth inning to claim a 3-1 win over the Marion Bobcats. The win propelled the Hoppers into a three-way tie for first place in the Ohio Valley League with Hopkinsville and Madisonville.
     
Marion (2-7) got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning when Paul Angel hit a one-out single, went to third on a single by Brandon Lawing and scored on a double-steal to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
     
Hoptown countered in the bottom half of the inning when Mitch Huckabay led off with a single, went to third on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a double by Mason Colquitt to knot the game at 1-1 after an inning.
     
That’s where the score stood until the bottom of the sixth inning. Colquitt led off the inning with a walk followed by a single by John Beary. Zac Carter then reached on a bobbled sacrifice attempt to load the bases. Derek Ferch then hit a nubber in front of the plate that was fielded by starting pitcher Luke McDonald, who underhanded it to catcher Clint Ambrosch for the force out at home. 
     
Seth Larue then slapped a two-out pinch-hit double, scoring Beary and Carter to put Hoptown ahead for good 3-1. Larue was thrown out at third on the play.
     
Hoptown was led at the plate by Colquitt, who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored, and Huckabay, who went 2-for-4 with a run, Larue and Ferch each doubled for the Hoppers, and Larue had two runs batted in. 
     
Five Bobcat batters each had a hit, including Brooks Balisterri, who picked up a double for Marion. 
     
On the mound, Cole Isom (1-1) got the win, allowing one run on five hits, striking out six and walking two in seven innings. Trevor Blocker earned his first save of the season, retiring all six batters he faced in two innings.
     
McDonald (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits, striking out four and walking three in six innings. Drew Shoulders closed out the game for Marion, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking one in two innings.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bobcats blanked by Hoppers

The Bobcats were kept off the board Tuesday night at Guess Field, falling to Hopkinsville (4-3), who scored 12 runs on 10 hits, 12 walks and three Bobcat errors. It was only the third shutout pitched in the league this year, the first against the Bobcats, now 2-6 and in last place in the league.

Hoptown pitchers gave up eight hits and only one walk, stranding seven Marion runners on base. Starter Riley Sanderson (2-0) got the win for the Hoppers after going seven innings. Austin Braddock (0-1) pitched only 2.1 innings in the loss for Marion, giving up four runs, though only one was earned. Marion used six pitchers on the evening.

At the plate, Wes Evers was 3-for-4 with a stolen base. Five other hitters contributed singles.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fulton doubles up on Bobcats

FROM FULTON RAILROADERS
After an hour delay in starting the game Sunday due to weather, the Railroaders (3-4) and Bobcats (2-5) played their second game together in as many nights.

Both teams scored a run each in the first inning and the game remained tied until the fifth. Alex Huddleston lead off the bottom of the inning for Fulton and jumped on the pitch to hit a home run over the right center field wall. The Railroaders added three more runs in the seventh and eighth innings to give Fulton a command 8-1 lead.

The Bobcats rallied in the ninth to put up three runs, but effort was too little, to late.

Former Crittenden County High School Rocket Wes Evers went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Luke Pearce and Jarrett Rice were also 2-for-4, with an RBI each. Cody Brown and Tyler Boxwell drove in Marion's two other runs.

On the hill, starter David Herrera (0-2) took the loss despite giving up only two runs to the Railroaders in six innings.

The Bobcats are off Monday before returning to Guess Field on Tuesday for the first meeting of the year against Hoptown.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Marion scores 9 again, beats Fulton

The Bobcats capitalized on the momentum from Friday's win with a second nine-run victory Saturday at home against the Fulton Railroaders. Marion won the game 9-3.

Marion scored seven runs Saturday in the third inning and never looked back, beating Fulton at Guess Field 9-3 on only five hits. The win pulled the Bobcats even with the Railroaders in fifth place at 2-4.

Trevor Guthrie was on the mound and got the win for the Bobcats. He pitched six innings and allowed only one run on five hits, walked five and struck out seven.

David Cherry pitched three innings and recorded the save for the team. He allowed two runs on five hits and one walk.

The Bobcats left 15 Fulton runners on base for the night.

On offense, Austin Braddock went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI and a win scored. Tyler Odom, Cody Brown, Luke Pearce, Jarrett Rice and Joe Tourville each added an RBI. Odom had a stolen base.

Bobcats post first win; Evers tallies 3 RBI

By CHRIS MCGEE
The Bobcats broke out of their slump Friday night with a 9-8 road win against the Madisonville Pirates (3-1).

Although the Bobcats (1-4) gave up eight runs, they were able to hold on for the victory.

Pitcher Tyler Simmons earned the win for Marion. He pitched six innings and gave up three runs while walking six and striking out seven.

David Herrera pitched two thirds of an inning. He gave up one run, walked one and struck out one.

Tony Anello finished the game, pitching two and one third innings. He gave up four runs, walked two and struck out two.

At the plate, Wes Evers (.273, 4 RBI) went 1-for-3 with 3 RBI, a run scored and a sacrifice fly. Joe Tourville and Brandon Lawing added 2 RBI each and Cody Brown (.333, 8 runs scored) accounted for an RBI with a solo home run. Every position player but Paul Angel contributed a hit, with Brown, Tyler Odom, Luke Pearce and Shane Riley accounting for two hits each. Riley and Lawing each had a double.

The Bobcats return to action at 7:05 p.m. tonight for a home game against Fulton.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bobcats drop game at Bombers 4-15

By CHRIS MCGEE
Bad pitching and errors are not the formula for winning baseball games.

The Marion Bobcats (0-4) committed four errors and gave up 15 runs in a loss to the DuBois County Bombers (4-0) on the road Wednesday night.

Austin Braddock started the game and pitched for six innings. He gave up three runs on three hits, walked three and struck out seven.

Thomas Blake and Shane Riley both pitched one inning apiece but didn’t have good numbers. Blake coughed up six runs on four hits, walked three and struck out two. Riley finished the game and gave up six runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

The 4-15 loss was the worst of the season for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats return to action today at 7:05 p.m. for a home game against the undefeated Madisonville Pirates.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bobcats fall to 0-3

By CHRIS MCGEE
The Bobcats weren’t able to finish the game against the DuBois County Bombers (3-0) Tuesday night at Gordon Guess Field.

After allowing the game to go into extra innings, Marion (0-3) gave up two runs in the 10th and lost, 6-8.

Although the Bobcats committed two fewer errors than Monday night, the pitching staff gave up too many runs.

Luke MacDonald started the game for the Bobcats. He pitched five innings, walking three and struck out three.

Tyler Simmons came on in relief and only pitched one inning but it was a costly one. He gave up one run on three hits and walked one batter.

David Cherry also played last night. Cherry pitched two innings allowing two runs on four hits with one strikeout.

Tony Anello finished the game but he didn’t have a good night either. The Bombers got him for three runs on two hits. Although Anello struck out three, it was a case of too little too late for the home team.

The Bobcats will be back in action at 7 p.m. Wednesday night on the road against DuBois County.

Owensboro beats Bobcats 9-2

By CHRIS MCGEE
The growing pains continued for the Marion Bobcats and new manager Jake Long Monday night.

The Bobcats (0-2) played a make-up game against Owensboro (2-0) and lost, 9-2.

It was not a good night for the team on any front. In addition to the six errors committed by the team, the pitching staff exacerbated the errors with an off night.

Starting pitcher David Herrera pitched five innings and was rocked for seven runs on eight hits. Three of the seven runs were earned. Herrera also walked seven and struck out three.

Blake Thomas came in as relief and pitched two innings but didn’t fare much better. Thomas had one run on two hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

David Cherry pitched one inning and didn’t help the Bobcats’ cause. He didn’t walk or strikeout anyone but allowed one run.

The Bobcats are back in action Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at home against the Dubois County Bombers.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pitcher added to Bobcats staff

Blake Thomas, a right-handed pitcher from East Mississippi Community College, has been added to the Bobcats' roster for tonight's game at Owensboro.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bobcats open season with a loss

The 2013 Marion Bobcats greet one another as lineups are
announced on opening night Sunday at Gordon Blue Guess
Field in Marion. The Bobcats lost to Owensboro 2-4 to start
the new Ohio Valley League season with a loss despite jumping
out to a 2-0 lead early in the game.
By CHRIS McGEE
New Marion Bobcats manager Jake Long didn't have the first game he had hoped for.

After getting rained out on Saturday in the season opener against the Owensboro Oilers (1-0), the Bobcats (0-1) began play Sunday.

The team took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning but was unable to hold on and lost 4-2. The Oilers scored two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth for the come-from-behind victory.

Trevor Guthrie started the game for the Bobcats and pitched five scoreless innings. Guthrie allowed three hits, struck out five and walked two. Austin Braddock came on in relief and allowed one hit and struck out two. Tyler Simmons and Tony Anello both pitched one inning each. Simmons (0-1) allowed two hits, two earned runs and two walks. Anello had three hits, two earned runs, one strikeout and one walk.

Pitcher Cameron (1-0) Wallace was credited with the win for the Oilers.

Coach Long said both he and the players are still getting to know one another, but he was pleased overall with Sunday's outing. He also said he wasn't going to dwell on this loss.

“I'm not going to worry about this game because we still have 44 more games to play,” Long said.

The Bobcats will make up Saturday's game at 7 p.m. today at Owensboro and then return home on Tuesday to take on the Dubois County Bombers.

First pitch for Tuesday's home game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

First pitch moved back 2 hours tonight

First pitch for tonight's season opener for the Bobcats will be at 7:05, giving field conditions a chance to improve. The game is at Gordon Blue Guess Field.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tonight's game postponed

All of tonight's Ohio Valley League games have been postponed due to massive amounts of rain across the area.

Marion will make up tonight's scheduled game at Owensboro on Monday, beginning at 7 p.m. That means the Bobcats will open the season at home Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Trevor Guthrie, a right-handed hurler, will take the mound against the Oilers.

Mondays have been built in as make-up days for postponed games during the 2013 season. Dubois County will also make up tonight's game set for tonight at Fulton on Monday. However, Madisonville at Hopkinsville has been reset as part of a double header on June 14.

Marion's probable starters for upcoming games include:
  • Monday: David Herrera
  • Tuesday: Luke MacDonald
  • Wednesday: Austin Braddock
  • Thursday: Tyler Simmons

Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Roster available

Click to enlarge Bobcats roster as of June 1

Bobcats open season on road Saturday

The Marion Bobcats will open the 2013 season, the team's sixth, Saturday at Owensboro. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Oilers' new home field for this season, Kamuf Park at the Brescia University Outdoor Sports Complex on Todd Bridge Road in Owensboro.

On Sunday, the Bobcats open their home schedule with a second game against Owensboro starting at 5:05 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bobcats take field Saturday for 6th season

By CHRIS McGEE
THE CRITTENDEN PRESS
Marion Bobcats and Ohio Valley League (OVL) summer collegiate baseball return this weekend. The Bobcats, beginning their sixth year, start play Saturday at Owensboro and open at home Sunday with a 5:05 p.m. game, also against the Oilers.

The six-team league plays a two-month schedule and is comprised of only baseball players who are college eligible. This year marks the third for the OVL, which was formed in 2011 when the KIT League essentially disbanded.

The Bobcats will have a new skipper—the fourth in team history—in Jake Long this season. Long, a coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Miss., will be bringing his father along with him as an assistant coach, as well as Shaun Nichols from Mississippi.

This year’s team will feature some local talent, including Wes Evers, who played high school baseball for the Crittenden County Rockets. Blaine Alvey is from Waverly in Union County, and Jarrett Rice, a nephew of Jim Defreitas of Marion, is from Paducah.

Long said he became interested in coaching the Bobcats this season through Kyle Medley, the team’s head coach in 2011 and the closer for the inaugural 2008 squad.

“Kyle sent me some info in October or November of last year, so I forwarded my resume to him and Kory Wheeler,” Long said, referring to the team’s general manager. “I had been looking for a chance to be a head coach.”

Long said he felt pretty good about the position after talking to Wheeler a little after Christmas. He said he didn’t waste any time recruiting after he got the job.

“I put feelers out on guys as soon as I could,” Long said.

OVL coaches are allowed to recruit from all areas of the country, so long as the players are college eligible. The league plays by NCAA rules but uses wooden bats instead of aluminum.
Long believes this year’s team will be pretty balanced offensively. He said pitching, however, is another story.

“We are going to be pretty young as far as pitching goes,” Long said. “Tyler Simmons, who throws in the mid- to upper-80s (mph) will most likely be our starter for our first home game on (Sunday).”

But defense is something else Long said he is pretty comfortable with for the 2013 squad. He singled out some players when talking about the defense. Long said his team at Mississippi Gulf Coast had faced infielder Tyler Odom in March, and he was impressive.

“Tyler Odom, who is from East Mississippi Community College, is a shortstop who has a good stick and will most likely play second and third base and maybe some first,” Long said. “First base will be shaky to start with because Shane Riley’s team from Walters State Community College in Tennessee qualified for the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.  So he will be late getting here.”

Paul Angel and Brooks Ballesteri from Meridian Community College in Mississippi and Joe Tourville from Mountain View Community College will round out the infield.

Long said he believes the outfield will have plenty of depth thanks to Cody Brooks who red-shirted last year at Mississippi State University.

Long said he is optimistic about this year’s team but was quick to acknowledge that Opening Day hasn’t even arrived.

“I feel good about our chances to be competitive,” Long said. “But then again, everybody is 0-0.”

He said one of the advantages of playing every day is that you don’t have time to dwell on the negative.

“You just gear up and get ready to play the next day,” he said.

This year, a sixth team has been added to the league, the Dubois County (Ind.) Bombers. The rest of the league is the same as last year—Marion, Madisonville Pirates, Owensboro Oilers, Hoptown Hoppers and Fulton Railroaders. Hopkinsville won both the regular season and postseason crown in 2012.

Marion closed the year with a 15-25 record. The team has never finished above .500.

Tickets for home games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Special season ticket packages, however, are still available.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bobcats featured in Kentucky League of Cities magazine

(The following artice, "Community Rivalries: Take It to the Baseball Park," appeared in the November/December 2012 issue of Kentucky City, a bi-monthly publication of the Kentucky League of Cities. Follow this link to the online layout of the magazine article.)

By Bobbie S. Bryan
KENTUCKY CITY MAGAZINE
For many Kentuckians, summertime and early fall can be summed up with the crack of a baseball bat and the cheering of crowds in the grandstands. It’s about as American as apple pie and homemade ice cream.

In recent years, some Kentucky cities have seen the resurgence of Class D minor league baseball, taking part in the newly formed Ohio Valley League, playing under the NCAA rules.

Amateur players for these summer collegiate games come from all over the United States and are housed in private homes, supported in room and board by local enthusiasts. These wooden-bat teams of the Ohio Valley League are a throwback to the early days of the Kitty League, a nickname for teams playing in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee. The league is not a "farm" system and has no affiliation with Major League Baseball.

Cities and their citizens have a long history of supporting community activities, such as playing host to these baseball teams. The generation that enjoyed the Kitty League back in the 1950s is resurrecting its love of the sport, and the competitive spirit between rival communities is alive and well.

In 2010, Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate Baseball attracted four initial teams, all originally part of the KIT League. They are the Marion Bobcats, the Owensboro Oilers, the Fulton Railroaders and the Madisonville Tradewater Pirates (formerly of Dawson Springs). In 2012, Hopkinsville joined the new league as the Hoptown Hoppers, also a former KIT League team.

Marion was the first city to sign on to play back in 2010. A local banker, Gordon Guess, spearheaded the effort to reignite interest in the sport. The City of Marion was instrumental in the Bobcats’ startup, actually buying the franchise, which provided the league with needed capital. In the past season, the city remained supportive as it sponsored a “City Night” at the ballpark.

Marion City Administrator Mark Bryant says, “It’s neat having a baseball team playing competitive ball in a town as small as ours. Our parks are a big part of the entertainment factor here, and it gives Residents something else to do during the summer. They really seem to enjoy it.”

Glenn Abee, City of Hopkinsville, serves as vice president on the board of the Hoptown Hoppers team. He said, “From players’ perspective, they can’t sacrifice their ability to play collegiately by being paid to play, so they pay a fee to the league for the opportunity to play in this developmental league. What the community does in return is provide host-site housing, a few meals [per] day and moral support. In return, the players may take on odd jobs to help host families.”

Enthusiastic fans showed up at most all of the games, with Fulton crowds topping 150 at many games. But, by far, the largest fan base was in Hopkinsville. Abee reported, “The final average attendance at Hopper home games came to more than 300 attendees during the season, and we had our highest crowd number of 650 during the playoffs. The support of our community was really exciting during our first season.”

When asked about why the Hoppers were able to draw such a crowd, Abee gave his opinion.

“It had a lot to do with bringing in the historical perspective. We brought back the original Hoptown Hopper name, a popular team that had not been seen since the early 1950s. We did a lot to make the nostalgic connection, even having similar uniforms. The community was hungry for a familyfriendly community environment, responding to that old adage that there is nothing here to do.”

From the city’s perspective, Abee says, “The city, county and Chamber of Commerce worked collaboratively to get this initiative underway. It tied in to our involvement, support and contributions to the Christian County Cares Vision Plan 2015, as the idea for the Hoppers tied perfectly into the plan’s quality-of-life component.”

The teams made a financial impact as well. Abee said the Hoppers generate about $80,000 a season in cold hard spending (including nearly $40,000 in sales tax), mostly from out-of-towners. When you multiply that by "dollar turnover," he estimates it closer to $500,000 per season.

"We could not have had a better year," Abee continued. "I was stunned to see the players run up into the stands after winning the playoffs and hug our supporters. This community could not have been more open-armed. Now the key is to keep the momentum going into the next season."

In wrapping up the 2012 season, Ohio Valley League President Gordon Guess posted on the League's website, "The new kids on the block, Hoptown and Madisonville, fought each other all season just like their high school rivalry for over 90 years. Finally, Hoptown emerged as the league champs with a strong hitting lineup and good starting pitching that didn't wear out down the stretch. Fulton made the late season very interesting, making a late surge to scare the Hoppers. But, in the end, it was all Hoppers. The Bobcats and Oilers were not able to survive player injuries while the Pirates only faded during the last week of the season."

"The interest created by the two new franchises translated into a significant increase in attendance, estimated to have grown to over 15,000 leaguewide," Guess said. "Fan loyalty increased somewhat as many strangers appeared in the visitors sections over the season."

Guess said, "The 2012 fan interest has apparently been contagious, as several nearby communities have shown interest in seeking to join our league. That is a challenge that is to be worked out in the off-season."

To learn more about the Kitty League, go to www.ohiovalleyleague.net.

A Brief History of Baseball and the Kitty League

Baseball as we know it today originated in America in 1845, a derivative of the British game called “rounders.” The rules were established by a bookseller named Alexander Cartwright, and the first organized game was played in Hoboken, N.J., in 1846.
 
The Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869 were baseball’s first fully professional team, with 10 salaried players. This new form of entertainment gave country and city boys a new avenue for competition. Less than 10 years later, ball teams in Kentucky were forming. These teams would ultimately provide players for the professional teams.

Christian County Historian William T. Turner said, “In the early 20th century, every community wanted their own ball team; locally, we had teams from Hopkinsville, Pembroke, and Cadiz. With the passage of another 20 years, the competition expanded, and teams were crossing county lines, and game results were being posted in local newspapers, fueling the competitive nature of the game.”

Turner continued, “Dr. Frank H. Bassett, a local physician and longtime Hopkinsville resident, was so enamored with the game he set out to establish a league in order to provide a feeder club to the major leagues. In 1903, Dr. Bassett got on the train and traveled all through western Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Missouri, organizing teams in towns all across the area so they would join the league and play competitive ball. This was the beginning of the KIT League, or Kitty League.

“In those days, baseball was only played during the day as there was no electricity. The games drew people out in droves, providing new social opportunities, with many a courtship beginning at the baseball park,” Turner laughingly shared. games were interrupted over the years in a variety of intervals with the onset of World War I, World War II and the Korean War. During years. Yet, in time, the interests of enthusiasts returned, and the league was resurrected.

Unlike most leagues that were dormant for years in between playing, the KIT League was pretty much the same league from 1903 to 1955. Hopkinsville was represented for 28 of the 31 active seasons, while Paducah made it for 23.

Many young men came through these teams and enjoyed major league careers. The Kitty League also provided war veterans an opportunity to continue to play a sport they loved.

“The onset of air conditioning and television helped to bring the Kitty League to its demise,” Turner said.

"The Kitty's Last Gasp," an article by Larry Edmundson, tells the sad truth about why the sport had so many lives through the years, “Every team in the group experienced financial and support problems on an almost continuous basis. Madisonville was $2,600 in debt and needed an ‘all out city campaign’ to raise the money to begin the season. That the towns could rally behind the clubs, and the way individuals continued to come forward providing leadership says volumes about the cities and citizenry of the time.”

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 league schedule released

The 2013 Ohio Valley League schedule has been released, with each of the six teams in the league playing 45 games. The regular season begins June 1 and concludes July 24. No regular season games are scheduled on Mondays, which will be used as make-up dates for postponed games. Sunday games will generally begin at 2 p.m., with all other games generally beginning at 7 p.m. The postseason begins July 25. For the complete league schedule, visit the Ohio Valley League's website.

The Bobcats will open on the road June 1 but will host the next two games, beginning with Owensboro on June 2. Marion will play a total of 23 games at home, including the final game of the regular season. There will be no scheduled home stand of more than two games, nor will the Bobcats be on the road for more than two consecutive games. Nine contests will be played against each of the five other teams in the league--Dubois County (Ind.) Bombers, Fulton Railroaders, Hopkinsville Hoppers, Madisonville Pirates and Owensboro Oilers.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ex-Bobcat Jankowski's future bright

Jankowski
The future is looking bright for Travis Jankowski, a 2010 alumnus of the Marion Bobcats who was drafted by the San Diego Padres 44th overall in the 2012 Major League Baseball June Amateur draft. Last season, Jankowski, who once aspired to play college football but instead chose the baseball diamond at Stony Brook University in New York, made his way from the Arizona Padres Rookie League team to San Diego's Class A affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Tin Caps. According to the North County Times in southern California, Jankowski is an intriguing prospect for the 2013 Lake Elsinore Storm of the premiere Class A California League.

The 21-year-old Lancaster, Pa., native holds numerous Bobcats and KIT League records. Jankowski left the Bobcats before the end of the season in 2010 to play in the Cape Cod League. He spent the entire summer of 2011 in the prestigious New England league, where he earned the circuit's MVP honors.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bobcats name 2013 skipper

Long
The Bobcats have appointed a new manager for the 2013 season.

Jake Long, 26, will become the fourth manager of the club in as many years. Long is from Fulton, Miss., and this year will enter his second term as a full-time assistant coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport. In 2011, he was the college baseball team's outfield and hitting coach. In the four years prior, he was a student manager at the University of Alabama. Long also spent four years as a coach for the Wareham Gatemen in the prestigious Cape Cod League.

He is bringing his father, who has 25-plus years of baseball experience at the high school and college levels, to the Bobcats' dugout as an assistant. He will name a third assistant later, and has already placed several players on the roster for 2013.

Steve Fowler headed the club for its first three seasons beginning in 2008. Long will replace Drew Barrett at the helm. Kyle Medley, who serves with long as an assistant at the Mississippi college, led the Bobcats in 2011, replacing his former manager, Fowler.

League adds sixth, Indiana-based club

A sixth team will join the Ohio Valley League in 2013, according to league president and Bobcats founder Gordon Guess. The Dubois County Bombers of Huntingburg, Ind., will join Marion, Hopkinsville, Owensboro, Fulton and Madisonville next year, for what is being planned as a 45-game schedule for each team. Play will begin in late May and run through July.

The Bombers will play their home games in historic League Stadium, where portions of the 1992 motion picture "A League of Their Own" was filmed. The Bombers' manager will be Wes Fink, a University of Southern Indiana graduate who played on their 2000 NCAA Division II National Championship team. The general manager is Skip Kruger, a Huntingburg native.

”League Stadium field was the envy of all the teams in the Prospect league last year, and soon to be enjoyed by the new teams in the Ohio Valley League,” according to Mike Uebelhor, the Bombers managing partner.

The Bombers last year competed in the Prospect League, a circuit designed much like the Ohio Valley League. They amassed a 36-24 record finishing second the West Division of the 12-team Prospect League, but made it to the league championship series where they were beaten by the West Virginia Miners for the title.

Huntingburg lies about 60 miles northwest of Evansville, Ind., The close proximity of the Ohio Valley League teams will not only reduce transportation and lodging expenses, but will also create natural rivalries with the likes of Owensboro and Madisonville.

Guess said it is the objective to grow the Ohio Valley League to eight teams in the short-term, with a long-term vision of adding more teams to form two divisions within the league.

Visit the Bombers website at www.dcbombers.com for more team information or visit them on Facebook.