XENIA — It’s college baseball time once again for the Xenia Scouts.
Bubba Cates returns to manage the team. The former University of Tennessee-Martin manager guided Xenia to a record-high 27 wins and a division title, before bowing out of the playoffs in extra innings to eventual league champ Hamilton.
According to the Scouts website, pitchers Kyle Brunner of Grace College (Ind.) and Wright State University righty Jorge Lozano are back for a second year with the team. Hillsdale College (Mich.) catcher Donald Ring returns as well, to form a comfortable pitcher-catcher battery with at least two of the Scouts hurlers.
Incidentally, Hillsdale has three players on the 2017 Scouts roster: Ring, junior outfielder Dylan Lottinville and fellow catcher Chris Ackerman. Wright State and Baldwin-Wallace are next with two players each. The Raiders send returning starter Jorge Lozano and first baseman/outfielder Kyle Casserly, while Baldwin-Wallace brings pitchers Zachary Wallace and Brandon Wysong. There’s even an Ohio State Buckeye on the roster, redshirt freshman infielder Joey Roddy.
The 23 players on Xenia’s roster hail from 13 states (Ohio, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, California, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois, Utah, Massachusetts, Florida, Tennessee and Oklahoma). Roddy is the lone redshirt freshman, joining one freshman, seven sophomores, nine college juniors and five seniors.
The defending Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, South Division Champions open league play at 7:05 p.m. Friday June 9 against the Southern Ohio Copperheads at Bob Wren Stadium, on the Ohio University campus in Athens.
Xenia then hosts the Copperheads for the Scouts’ first two home games of the season June 10-11 at Grady’s Field on the Athletes In Action Sports Complex. Saturday’s game is a 7:05 p.m. start, while the Sunday contest gets under way at 4:05 p.m.
The 15-team GLSCL added a division, which includes a team based in Ontario, Canada. The St. Clair Green Giants, out of Tecumseh Ontario, will be playing their inaugural season. According to the league website, the league has expanded “to have a serious presence in western Michigan” with the introduction of the Muskegon Clippers and the Grand River Loggers, of Grand Haven, Mich.
League players are from the SEC, ACC, Big 10, AAC, CUSA, the Valley, MAC, Big East, Horizon, Ivy, Summit, Ohio Valley, A10 and Southern college conferences.
The GLSCL All-Star Game returns July 18 to Prasco Park in Mason, with several Major League Baseball scouts expected. The All-Star Game falls in the middle of Xenia’s longest home stand of the season, 10 games, spanning July 14 through July 27.