WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College baseball team opens its 2019 season in Carbondale, Illinois, this weekend as the Fightin' Quakers will compete against North Central College and Blackburn College on Saturday, Feb. 23 followed by the University of Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 24.
This weekend beings a new era of Wilmington baseball as Head Coach Tony Vittorio begins his first season heading the program.
"Each and every member of our baseball program is excited to open up the 2019 baseball season this weekend," Vittorio said. "The goal will be to implement our new style of play which will consist of pitching to advantage counts, being a very consistent defensive team, controlling our at bats and getting to the next base. Our motto going into this year is 'Let's GO!' It is time to GO."
The Outfield: Excitement is lingering in the Quaker outfield with the return of seniors Antonio Miller (.310 BA, .338 OBP, 10 RS) and Gage Bley (.241 BA, 6 2B, 3 3B) along with sophomores Joe Legin (.250 BA, 12 RS), and Joey Allinder (.148 BA, 3 RBI). Miller, Legin and Allinder will provide the necessary foot speed in the outfield as Miller along with Bley are projected to hit at the top and in the middle of the lineup. Providing depth in the Wilmington outfield will be junior Bryce Fordyce, sophomore Gavin Perkins and freshman Marko Salajcik.
The Infield: Experience and youth both make up the infield. Experience returns on the right side of the infield with senior first baseman Jake Hyatt (.243 BA, 29 RBIs, .431 SP), junior second baseman Nick Silvis (.321 BA, 18 RS, 44 H) and sophomore first baseman Luke Kleindl (.311 BA, .420 OBP, .460 SP). Speedy junior transfer Danny Cox will provide depth at second base as well as on the base paths. The left side of the infield consist of an experienced and consistent senior shortstop in Shane Hale (.295, 17 RS, 5 2B). A promising infield freshman class made up of Kyle Noble, Mason Walker and Dylan Winger will be competing daily for the third base position as well as other infield positions. Providing depth are first baseman junior transfer Shanson Lamb, freshman third baseman Tyler Robinson and freshman first basemen Matt Kelling and Daniel Wolboldt.
The Catchers: Junior Casey Botorff (.247 BA, 17 RBIs) and freshman Aaron Burns will be the men behind the mask for Wilmington in 2019. Botorff is a quality catch and throw catcher that will move the baseball offensively and Burns is a promising catcher both offensively and defensively. Providing depth behind the plate will be sophomore Luke Kleindl and freshman Kain Carter.
The Pitchers: Inexperienced pitchers will be providing pressure to the returning pitchers throughout the course of the year on the mound for the Quakers this season. Experienced pitchers consist of right handers Jarrett Trautman (3-2, 43.1 IP, 6.86 ERA), Bryant McCarty (0-1, 15.2 IP, 6.32 ERA) and Matt Oney (0–4, 23.2 IP, 7.23 ERA) as well as left-handed pitchers Jared Ferechek (3–5, 47.2 ERA, 4.34 ERA) and Lance Fleischman (1–4, 39.2 IP, 5.90 ERA). Competing for roles within the pitching staff will be right handers Jesse Walker, Mike Weisenberger, Adam Doerger, Kaleb Hubner, Matthew Rutz, Mitchell Belland, Jacob Griewahn, Cameron Harbert, Jeffery Kefauver, Ben Tomlin and left-hander Thomas Hueber. Rounding out the pitching staff will be two right-handed pitchers who are dual players in junior transfer Shanson Lamb and sophomore Luke Kleindl.
Up Next: Wilmington heads to Earlham College for a four-year series in the Quaker Bowl Rivalry next weekend.