Diamond Wolves debut Tuesday at home

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 9, 2009

WESSON – It’s time to play baseball.

Co-Lin head baseball coach Keith Case unveils his 2009 editionat home Tuesday instead of on the road at East MississippiCommunity College in Scooba. Construction delays forced EMCC tomove the games to Co-Lin’s Sullivan Field.

Co-Lin’s Wolfpack will face Faulkner (Ala.) State at noon,followed by EMCC versus Faulkner at 2:30 and Co-Lin vs. EMCC at5.

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There are more questions than answers facing Case and assistantcoach Bryan Nobile. There will be new faces at eight positions.

“We are so young offensively and defensively,” said Case, wholaunches his 17th season at Co-Lin. “We must go a long way to becompetitive in the South Division.

“We are not hitting it as well as need to right now,” said Case.”Our pitchers are ahead of the hitters.

Hinds and East Central have rejoined the South after the CentralDivision was dissolved. That makes the South even stronger. TheWolves have home-and-home doubleheader dates with South Divisionfoes Hinds, East Central, Gulf Coast, Pearl River, Jones County andSouthwest.

“Gulf Coast and Pearl River are really strong this year,” saidCase. “They are so deep in pitching and positions.

“Jones County should be much improved this year with ChristianOstrander their new coach.”

Asked about his young squad, Case said, “Our guys are gettingbetter and they are really working hard.

“A big key for us is to stay injury-free,” said Case. “We needthe right chemistry and the right players in the right roles.”

There is untested potential aplenty. Behind the plate freshmanTyler Hue of Pierre Part, La., is the starter. Freshman Rhyne Tutorof McCall Creek backs him at catcher.

At first base, sophomore Cameron Logan of Natchez and freshmanCable McMinn of Meadville see action. McMinn also works asdesignated hitter.

At second base, sophomores Joseph Evans of Monticello andBennett Wilson of Hazlehurst are the leaders.

At shortstop, freshman Luke Brumfield of Roxie and Wilson willsee duty.

At third base, freshmen Matthew Freeman of Natchez and JohnathanGrace of Wesson are sharing time.

In the outfield, freshman Jeff DeBlieux Houma, La., and Tutorare in left. Sophomore Mason Warren and DeBlieux are in center.Sophomore Jarred Rogers of Brookhaven and freshman Kendall Logan ofNatchez are in right field.

Rogers, who batted .282 with 1 home run and 22 RBIs last season,is the top returning batter. Warren batted .256.

Co-Lin finished 27-23 overall and 10-7 in the South lastyear.

Pitchers Experienced

On the mound, Evans (6-3) and Trent Hartzog (5-3) of Monticellopitched a lot for the Wolves as freshmen. Evans had a 4.01 ERA andHartzog had a 6.71 ERA.

Sophomore Christian Malbrough (1-3, 4.36 ERA) of Houma, La., hasdone well in preseason work. Sophomore Brock Campbell (1-1, 2.63ERA) of Richton was the top relief hurler last season. SophomoresPatrick Shoemaker (4-4) of Morton and Ian Ferrell of Unioncurrently are on the injured list.

Freshman southpaw Ben McDowell of Meadville is recovering fromshoulder surgery he had in the fall. Freshmen Baron Blackwell ofEnterprise Clarke and Brandon Jones of Leroy, Ala., have shownpotential.

“I’m excited about the season ahead,” said Case. “It’s time togo play ball.”

Sullivan Field finally has a new outfield fence this season buthas yet to be painted.

Co-Lin made its last appearance in the NJCAA Division II WorldSeries in 2005. Case’s teams won region titles in 1998, 2000, 2001and 2005. Co-Lin tied with Gulf Coast for second place in the Southlast year.

LSU-Eunice won the NJCAA Division II World Series last year andin 2006. Co-Lin has home-and-home dates with the Bengals.

@Bbstandings: Co-Lin Roster

PITCHERS: Joseph Evans, RHP, Monticello; Brock Campbell, RHP,Richton; Baron Blackwell, RHP, Enterprise; Jeff DeBlieux, LHP,Houma, La.; Christian Malbrough, RHP, Houma, La.; Brandon Jones,RHP, Leroy, Ala.; Ben McDowell, LHP, Meadville; Patrick Shumaker,RHP, Morton; Ian Ferrell, RHP, Union; Trent Hartzog, RHP,Monticello.

CATCHERS: Tyler Hue, R/R, Pierre Part, La., Cable McMinn, L/R,Meadville.

INFIELDERS: Bennett Wilson, R/R, Hazlehurst; Matthew Freeman,R/R, Natchez; Ryne Tutor, R/R, McCall Creek; Luke Brumfield, R/R,Roxie; Cameron Logan, R/R, Natchez; Jonathan Grace, R/R,Pattison.

OUTFIELDERS: Jarred Rogers, R/L, Brookhaven; Mason Warren, R/R,Wesson; Kendall Logan, R/R, Natchez.

STUDENT ASSISTANTS: John Floyd, Chris Jones, Damion Hughes.

TRAINER: Matt McClain. Student Trainer: Taisa Mitchell.

2009 Co-Lin Schedule

FEBRUARY: 10-East Mississippi, Faulkner (Ala.) State, noon14-Coahoma, 1 p.m., 20-Southeastern Iowa, Rend Lake, 1 p.m. 21-atLSU-Eunice 1:30, St. Charles (La.), 3:45 p.m. 25-at Coahoma, 1p.m., 28-Itawamba, noon, Kaskaskia, 5:15 p.m.

MARCH: 3-at Itawamba, 2 p.m. 6-East Mississippi, 1 p.m., BatonRouge, 6:15 p.m. 8-at Baton Rouge, 2 p.m. 10-Gulf Coast, 4 p.m.16-LSU-Eunice, noon, Ellsworth (Ia.), 5:15 p.m. 18-at Hinds, 3 p.m.21-at Pearl River, 1 p.m. 24-Southwest, 4 p.m. 28-Miss. Delta, 1p.m.

APRIL: 1-at Jones County, 4 p.m. 4-at Gulf Coast, 1 p.m. 7-atEast Central, 3 p.m. 10-Hinds,

1 p.m., 13-at Delgado (La.), 4 p.m. 15-Pearl River, 4 p.m. 18-atSouthwest, 2 p.m. 21-at Miss. Delta, 1 p.m., 25-Jones County, 1p.m. 30-State Tournament at South No. 1 seed.