Wolfpack baseball looks for big improvement

PLAYING FOR THE WOLVES – Members of the 2009 Copiah-Lincoln Community College baseball team from Copiah County are from left, Bennett Wilson of Hazlehurst, Mason Warren of Wesson, Jonathan Grace of Pattison, Brock Campbell of Crystal Springs, and manager Landon Lewis of Wesson. The Wolfpack begin their 2009 campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 10 against East Mississippi Community College in Scooba.

WESSON – After finishing the 2008 season in a MACJC South division tie for second place, the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolfpack will rely on a mixture of veterans and newcomers in 2009. Lost to graduation are pitcher Brandt Hinton (First Team All-State, NJCAA Academic All-American, Belhaven College signee), shortstop Steven Gauthe’ (First Team All-State, Nicholls State University signee), third baseman Timmy Foster (Second Team All-State, Belhaven College signee), left fielder Paul Davis (Second Team All-State), center fielder Montez Chatman (Second Team All-State, William Carey University signee) and second baseman Jordan Toney (Second Team All-State, Mississippi College signee).

The 2008 team finished No. 20 in the nation academically in the NJCAA. This marked the eighth time in 10 years that the Wolfpack have finished in the top 20 in the nation academically.  

Overall, the 2009 season will see the Wolfpack field a squad that will be without seven defensive starters and three pitchers from 2008. Returning pitchers Joseph Evans (6-3), Trent Hartzog (5-3), Patrick Shumaker (4-4), Brock Campbell (1-1), Christian Malbrough (1-3) and Ian Ferrell (0-0) should provide the Wolfpack with a solid base of experience. They will be joined by freshman pitchers Jonathan Grace of Wesson, Jeff DeBlieux of Houma, LA and Brandon Jones of Leroy, AL.

Returning position players include Cameron Logan (.215) at first base and Bennett Wilson (.100) at second base.  Jarred Rogers (.282) and Mason Warren (.256) return in the outfield for Co-Lin.  

Incoming freshman catchers are Cable McMinn of Roxie, Tyler Hue of Pierre Part, LA and Jones. In the infield are newcomers Luke Brumfield of Roxie, Ryan Tutor of Meadville and Matthew Freeman of Natchez and Grace. New faces in the Co-Lin outfield include Kendall Logan of Natchez and DeBlieux.

Head coach Keith Case returns for his 17th season with the Wolfpack. Bryan Nobile, after spending a year as head coach at Mississippi Delta Community College, will return to the Wolfpack dugout for his fifth year as assistant coach. Serving as student assistants will be John Floyd, Chris Jones and Damione Hughes, Jr.

The Wolfpack will open the 2009 season on the road against East Mississippi and Faulkner State on Feb. 10 in Scooba. The home opener will be Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. against Coahoma Community College.

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