2010 Baseball Season Outlook
The page has been turned in the book of baseball at Ohio Christian University. The Blazers welcome in a new head coach. Coach Greg Bigam takes the helm of a growing OCU program. Although their win/loss record over the past few years has been lopsided, there has been a core of talent and character growing in Circleville, Ohio. The freshman/transfer class of 2008 brought more talent than expected. Led by stud horse Andrew Lindeman, first basemen Adam Peters, and shortstop Michael Blevins the group of young men set their sights on growing a program. Increasing the 2007 team batting average by 37 points; it went from .211 in 2007 to .240 in 2008. The surge was equaled in 2009. With arrival of the solid backstop Max Ray, and another good pitcher in Steven Vogelgesang', second basemen and hit machine Matthew Bumpus, and with Tae Spell (yes THAT Tae Spell) covering almost the entire outfield the Blazers felt they could make a push in the Mid-east region. Even with a team batting average of .280 and still a few eggs short of a solid squad, the Blazers fell to Freewill Baptist after losing a heart breaker to Cincinnati Christian to be bounced from the Mid-east Regional tournament.
The 2010 Blazers will on the field look much the same, but in the dugout look extremely different. Lead by a head coaching change, Greg Bigam will begin his first year coaching at a college level. Greg played four years of varsity baseball at Capital University where he was captain and NCAA Division 3 Academic All American his senior year. Ohio Christian was impressed with Bigam's years of experience with baseball and coaching. Bigam served as head baseball coach at Westfall High in the early 80's, and also assisted in various levels at Circleville High school in the 80's, 90's, and for the past five seasons. When asked about the hire Mandy Wray, the Athletic Director said: "Greg brings a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience, and we are excited to see him continue to develop our baseball program here at OCU!"
Knowing the Blazers had the pitching staff to win a year ago, Bigam noticed the lack of success with the small things in the game. "The unearned run total is what we defiantly need to improve upon, I mean you can't expect three main guys to throw one hundred pitches a game and make it to the tournament strong," said Bigam, "we have to make it easy on the guy on the mound." Defense and pitching have been the focus of "spring training." With a renewed look at the small things in the game the Blazers feel they have a great shot of reaching the NCCAAII National tournament held May 12-15, 2010, Mason, Ohio, at Prasco Park, sponsored by the Arington Foundation.
The blazers will return their entire starting lineup from last year except for two players. Chase Smith, the senior leader from 09, and Andrew Lindeman, the ACE in all accounts of the word. "Chase is a great guy to be around, and will always be what is wanted and modeled for OCU Baseball," says last year's captain Michael Blevins. "Lindeman was a crazy kid, but he followed God's call to Teen Mania in Texas and we will miss his personality and his rocket arm."
With a great transfer/freshman class for 2010 the Blazers are very optimistic of their ability to compete not only in the Mid-East, but also in the much tougher OCAC. It should be a record year for Trailblazer Baseball.