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

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.