February 06, 2010
For Immediate Release
Fort Wayne, IN--The 2010 Indiana Tech baseball Warriors are looking forward to defending the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championship from the 2009 season. The 2009 Warriors finished the season at 31-26 receiving the automatic bid to the opening round of NAIA nationals.
Once again, Indiana Tech will not have an easy schedule. The Warriors open the season on February 12 in Barbourville, Ky., vs. the 16th ranked team in the country, Union College. Additionally, other non-conference Top 25 teams that the Warriors will face this season include Milligan College, IU-Southeast, Thomas University, Warner University, S.C.A.D., Webber International, Huntington University, Mount Vernon Nazarene, Ohio Dominican University, Spring Arbor University, and the University of Saint Francis. The Warriors will also play two Division I games vs. Butler University and Ball State.
The schedule will not get any easier during the conference season as all the WHAC teams look very solid this year and should be very interesting to follow along and see who comes out on top.
The Warriors look to improve and build on last season’s performance. Indiana Tech had some key losses last season due to graduation including All-WHAC performers John Paul Akers, Keegan McCamment and Will Richards (WHAC Player of the Year). However, the club looks to reload and fill the spots of the seniors from 2009 year.
Pitching will be the key for the Warriors this season as they return the majority of the pitching staff. "Last year we were very young on the hill,” said Coach Kip McWilliams. “Now we have some additional players that will add to the depth and talent." The Warriors return three senior pitchers in Zach Palmer, John Toshlog and Todd Phillips (All-WHAC). Top returning juniors include Corey Schwartz, Zach Brown, Jordan Swift, and Kyle Richardson. Tyler Snoke and Daniel Puckett are the only returning sophomores that had quality time for the 2009 Warriors as freshmen. Top newcomers include, Trevor Oetting (JR, Sinclair C.C), Jason Ferrell (JR, Miami University (OH)), Mark Conover (FR, Indiana State University), Evan Hock (JR, Kankakee C.C.), Brandon Duplessis (FR, Lockport H.S.), and Josh Johnson (JR, Grand Valley State).
Being a catcher for the Warriors takes a lot more then just blocking and receiving. "These men must step up and get the job done for us this year,” McWilliams said. “We had a rough season in 2009 behind the plate, and we must get better every day. So far, their efforts have been solid during practice." Indiana Tech returns two senior catchers in Gordon Murphy and Elliott Pisarczyk. Also returning is junior Shane Starry who missed last season due to an injury. Sophomore Bryon Huff and freshman Mitchell Burton (Brownsburg H.S.) could see time for the Warriors.
The infield is a definite strength for the Warriors this season. "We made too many errors in crucial situations last season,” McWilliams said. “Our focus this season recruiting was to bring in some infielders with quality experience to strengthen the skill and depth of the infield." Top returners include Chad Geier, Brendan Sontag, Derek Turner, and Riley Muhlenkamp. Junior Gordon Turner could also see some time after red-shirting last season. The recruiting class that will battle for positions are Justin Medeiros (JR, Clarendon C.C.), Taylor Hoisington (JR, Sinclair C.C.), Zach Harrison (FR, University of Indianapolis), Clint Garrard (FR, New Castle H.S.), Scott Tabrett (JR, Texas Christian University), and Devon Davis (FR, Mason H.S.).
Losing four senior outfielders last season was very difficult to swallow. However the Warriors return two very talented players that will help this season. Senior Todd Phillips, who was the Warriors’ closer last year, has experience in the outfield. Sophomore Jeremy Jones, who redshirted in 2009, will have an opportunity to win a position in the outfield. Outfielders that are joining the squad in 2010 that will compete for time include Paul McIntosh (JR, College of Marin), Gary King (JR, Indiana State), Wes Smith (JR, Texas Tech University), Shawn Smith (FR, Madison-Grant H.S.), and David Miller (FR, Ross H.S.). "Our outfielders did a great job last season, however with this group of guys we are very excited,” McWilliams said. “We should be able to track down many fly balls this season."
All in all, the Warriors are looking forward to getting the season started. It should be an exciting year as Indiana Tech battles to retain the WHAC Championship from last season. The Warriors’ ultimate goal is the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. "We were pleased last season with the players’ efforts, however, we must be able to compete at the opening round of nationals,” McWilliams said. “Once you win the opening round, then you can get to the World Series. Of course, much must take place before the opening round and the World Series. This is why conference play is so important in the NAIA."