Bluefield State College, WV
Bluefield, WV- Bluefield State College's baseball program continued to move in the right direction in 2016 by increasing their win total to 12 games against their usual strong schedule.
Although they graduated six seniors last spring, all of whom had started at BSC as freshmen, the outlook is still bright for the Big Blues due to the return of 14 lettermen and a large recruiting class consisting of 4 transfers and 6 freshmen.
Seniors for 2017 include four-year college players Justin Bowler (IF/RHP), Sam Harris (C/IF), Chaz Rutherford (IF/OF), and Bubba Smith (OF/IF/C). All four were starters for Bluefield State in 2016 and should be important contributors again this year. This year's junior class consists of returnees RH reliever Romero Cartwright, C/IF Chase Chambers, MIF Caleb Morrow, and starting RHPs Tanner Muovich and Bo Williams, as well as transfers OF Tanner Hill, RHP Addison Meeks, and C Billy O'Hara. The sophomore group is made up of Cole Blocker (RHP/IF), Peyton Durham (IF/C), T.J. Sauers (RHP/OF), Carson Thigpen (RHP/C), and Justin Thomas (RHP/OF) who were all on last year's squad, as well as transfer Drew D"Angelo (MIF). Freshmen recruits include RHP/OF Brandon Chandler, C/IF Kevon Moxey, OF Turner Nelson, IF/OF Jordan Wilson, RHP/U Brandon Wortkoetter, and OF Logan Wriston.
The Big Blues once again will be playing local rivalries close to home this season. Early in March, the Big Blues will play a 3 game series in the Battle of Mercer County when they take on Concord University in Princeton, WV. Concord took the game last year in a high scoring affair, 14-9. This year the teams will play three times on March 10th, 11th & 12th. The Big Blues will also play Bluefield College in April in the Battle of the Bluefield's. Coach Hunter was able to work out where the Big Blues play the Rams twice this season, the 1st game on April 18th and the 2nd time on the 26th. The Rams took the only meeting between the two last season, by a score of 4-3.
Veteran Head Coach Geoff Hunter (33rd season at BSC) and Assistant Kyle Blocker feel that this year's team has the right mix of talent and experience across the four academic classes to keep the program moving forward. "This spring we should field a team that is stronger up the middle defensively and more consistent throughout the lineup offensively. If our young arms can step up and replace the innings we lost to graduation, then we should be very competitive again. Our pitching may not be as experienced as it was last year, but a very balanced roster should enable us to make more plays and generate more runs, and, as a result, have more opportunities to outscore our opponents."