Wilkes baseball looks to make this season a hit

Andre Spruell, Asst. Sports Editor

With first-year coach Nate Ramsey at the helm, the Colonels look to make some noise with their bats in hopes of building off of last year’s strong showing.

Last season, the Colonels finished just under .500 with an 18-20 overall record and 10-11 record in MAC Freedom play. They finished 4th overall in the MAC Freedom conference and are projected to finish 5th overall in the MAC Freedom Coaches’ Baseball Preseason Poll this year.

The Colonels will be returning four All-MAC Freedom selections, including pitcher Jeff Roedell and 1B Joe Champi, both sophomores. Also included are a pair of outfielders: junior James Brown and sophomore Jarret Clymer.

“We want to improve and have some first-team guys. Even though we had some guys, including myself, make an All-MAC team, our goal is to ultimately make the playoffs and win a ring,” Clymer said.

“Even if I don’t make any of the All-MAC teams and we still make playoffs and have a chance to win a championship, I’d take that,” he continued.

The team members worked hard, sharpening their skills by lifting weights at the Marts Center and throwing/hitting at the UCOM until the weather warmed up enough for them to start practicing outside. This has been very helpful for the team; last year, they were not able to practice outside until two weeks into the season.

“Being outside actually helps us to throw decently far, strengthening our arms.  In the UCOM, you can’t really throw how you would want to because it’s small,” Champi said.

The team also stayed in the baseball mindset by playing fall ball, which consisted of 18 innings at the University of Scranton back in October, as well as playing many inter-squad scrimmages.

“Last year we had it pretty much wrapped up and just blew it,” Clymer said. “We missed the playoffs by one game last year and we have to make sure that something like that doesn’t happen again.”

The Colonels’ first game will take place Feb. 28 at the Maplezone Sports Institute in Garnet Valley, Pa. against the Red Devils of Dickinson College. The following week, the team will be spending spring break together by traveling down to Ft. Pierce, Fla. to play a series of games against some stiff competition.