Co-Lin Wolfpack seek more consistency in 2015
WESSON – On any given day in 2014, the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolfpack baseball team could beat any team in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC). Co-Lin had wins over Meridian, Pearl River, East Central, and Jones sprinkled throughout their schedule. The Wolfpack swept five doubleheaders, with their final sweep (over Southwest) assuring that Co-Lin kept possession of the trophy in the Coca-Cola/Powerade Challenge with the Bears.
Head coach Clay Smith is seeking a more even effort from his team in 2015 as they seek to improve on their 12-32 record of a year ago. The Wolfpack return many of their best bats from 2014, but will need a young pitching staff to grow up quickly in the always talent rich MACJC.
Watts returns to middle infield
Sophomore second baseman Wesley Watts was second on the team in games played with 42 appearances in 2014. The Northwest Rankin product also pitched 11 innings and posted a 2-1 record on the mound. Other sophomore infield returnees are Tanner Parvin and Matthew Evans. Parvin and Evans, both graduates of Brookhaven Academy, were used at multiple positions as freshmen. Parvin spent most of his time at third, but also pitched in relief. Evans appeared in the infield, pitched, and was the most used pinch runner on the team.
The Wolfpack picked up a transfer in the addition of Austin Resser, a first baseman. Resser, who has played summer ball in Mississippi, comes to Co-Lin from Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas. Resser is a native of Newton, Kansas.
Infielders lost to graduation were Mitch Little (MACJC First Team All-State), Konner Burke, Philip Lott, and Ryan Young (MACJC Second Team All-State). Freshman infielders in 2015 are Jordan Antley (also a pitcher), Justin Oliver, and Bailey Warren.
Outfield brings back most experience
If you came to a Co-Lin game in 2014 then you could expect to see the same three guys in the outfield nearly every game. Two of those everyday starters, Adrian Brown and Stevie “Choc” Hubbard return in 2015. The duo tied for the team lead with 45 hits apiece and combined to hit eight homeruns, 16 doubles, and two triples. Brown, a graduate of McComb High, was named the NJCAA National Player of the Week after a monster week late in the season. He has been named to the 2015 NJCAA’s Top Returning Position Players.
Hubbard, a graduate of Mendenhall High, led the team with 28 RBI as a freshman. Both Brown and Hubbard were named MACJC Second Team All-State following their freshmen season.
Dominic Savage, the other stalwart of the outfield in 2014, was lost to graduation. Freshman outfielders in 2015 are Austin Irby (also a pitcher), Kewaun May, Jeremy Moore (a redshirt in 2014 due to injury), and Britton Johnson.
Smith an anchor at catcher in 2014
Loyd Star product Logan Smith returns after playing in 39 games as a catcher and designated hitter in 2014. Smith tied for second on the team with 27 RBI and will be joined in 2015 by freshman catchers Reed Taylor and Allen Reed.
Brown counted to lead young pitching staff
No one pitched more innings for the Wolfpack in 2014 than Shane Brown. The Simpson Academy graduate tossed 53 innings in 12 games. Brown often served as a game one starter and will be expected to provide a steady hand for a staff mostly made of freshmen. Wesley Watts, Matthew Evans, and Alex Smith are all sophomores who saw time on the hill in 2014. Smith, a hard throwing right-hander from Wesson, saw time as a starter and in the bullpen as a freshman.
Pitchers lost to graduation include Casey Hurley and Corey Funk. Freshman pitchers include Austin Irby, Jordan Antley, Stephen Barnett (medical redshirt in 2014), Jackson Cole, Austin Douglas, Lee Smith, Mile Thomas, Austin Odom, Tanner Jones, Garrett Goodwin, and Cole Langdon.
Wolves at the next level
Former Co-Lin catcher Stephen Joe will be a senior this season for the Christian Brothers University Bucs. Another former Co-Lin catcher, Jonathan Santana, is a senior this season for the University of New Orleans. The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils will feature a Co-Lin alum in pitcher Tyler Case. Former Wolf Gabe Wilson returns for his senior season at Belhaven University after starting in 59 games as a junior. Caleb Dugas, a former Co-Lin standout, will be a senior this season at Northwestern State University. Former Co-Lin outfielder Dominic Savage will be a member of the Wiley College Wildcats in 2015. Mitch Little, an infielder, will suit up as a junior this season for the William Carey Crusaders.
No more division play for MACJC
Fans will notice a change in the schedule, as the MACJC has done away with division play. Each team in the state will play each other once in the regular season. League play will take place on Wednesday and Saturday. The north and south division will remain in place and the top two teams in each division will earn an automatic berth in the playoffs. The remaining four playoffs spots will go to the next four teams with the best league records, regardless of division. The only MACJC teams that Co-Lin will play a home and home with this season are Delta and Southwest. Playing a four game series with the Bears insures that the Coca-Cola/Powerade Challenge will continue between the two rivals.
Smith continues to upgrade Co-Lin baseball
Smith, entering his second season leading the Wolfpack, has a laid back personality that his players respond to. As a former assistant at Southern Miss and Belhaven, Smith is known as a player’s coach who seeks to instill confidence in his team by trusting them on the field.
With MACJC recruiting recently turning into an arms race, a huge priority for Smith has been improving the facilities at Sullivan Field. With help from the administration, Smith has done just that. The completion of a covered hitting facility has allowed Co-Lin to expand their dressing area and upgrade the player’s locker room. New fencing along the third baseline is another nice addition to the field and will protect any spectators sitting on the raised deck in that area.
Smith isn’t along in his countless hours spent working at Sullivan Field, as you can often find his assistants, Bryan Nobile and Ronald Sims, working right alongside him. Nobile is beginning his 11th season at Co-Lin and Sims is in his first season as an assistant. Sims, a former student assistant while a Co-Lin student, comes to Wesson from East Central.
Staying injury free, something the coach has absolutely no control over, is always a priority in baseball. Last season injuries wrecked the Co-Lin pitching staff and led players who Smith never dreamed of putting on the mound forced into action.
Above all else Smith feels like he’s upgraded the overall talent of his roster in his second year. The core of returnees were productive on the field as freshman and all 17 true freshmen come to Wesson after having standout high school careers. It’s easy to see why Smith and everyone around the program are so excited for Wolfpack baseball in 2015.
2015 Wolfpack Baseball Schedule
Date Time Opponent Location
Sunday, February 8 2:00(DH) Bishop State CC Sullivan Field
Tuesday, February 10 5:00(DH) Delgado CC (LA) New Orleans, LA
Saturday, February 14 2:00(DH) Kaskaskia College (IL) Sullivan Field
Wednesday, February 18 1:00(DH) MS Delta CC Moorhead, MS
Friday, February 20 3:00(DH) Panola College (TX) Sullivan Field
Sunday, February 22 1:00(DH) Southwest MS CC * Summit, MS
Wednesday, February 25 3:00(DH) Marion Military Sullivan Field
Saturday, February 28 2:00(DH) Delgado CC (LA) Sullivan Field
Wednesday, March 4 3:00(DH) Baton Rouge CC Sullivan Field
Saturday, March 7 2:00(DH) MS Delta CC # Sullivan Field
Wednesday, March 11 4:00(DH) Southwest MS CC # * Sullivan Field
Saturday, March 14 2:00(DH) Meridian CC # Sullivan Field
Saturday, March 21 2:00(DH) East MS CC # Scooba, MS
Wednesday, March 25 3:00(DH) Jones JC # Ellisville, MS
Saturday, March 28 2:00(DH) Northwest MS CC # Senatobia, MS
Tuesday, March 31 4:00(DH) East Central CC # Sullivan Field
Friday, April 3 1:00(DH) Northeast MS CC # Booneville, MS
Wednesday, April 8 3:00(DH) Hinds CC # Raymond, MS
Saturday, April 11 2:00(DH) Coahoma CC # Sullivan Field
Tuesday, April 14 4:00(DH) Pearl River CC # Sullivan Field
Saturday, April 18 1:00(DH) Holmes CC # Goodman, MS
Wednesday, April 22 4:00(DH) MS Gulf Coast # Sullivan Field
Saturday, April 25 2:00(DH) Itawamba # Fulton, MS
May 1- May 2 TBD MACJC State Playoffs TBD
May 7-May 9 TBD MACJC State Tournament TBD
May14- May17 TBD Region 23 Tournament Eunice, LA
May 23-May 30 TBD NJCAA D2 World Series Enid, OK
* Coca-Cola/PowerAde Challenge
2015 Wolfpack Baseball Roster
No./ Name/ Pos./ CL/ Hometown/Previous School
1 Austin Irby /OF/P /FR /Olive Branch, MS/Olive Branch High School
2 Jordan Antley /INF/P /FR /West Monroe, LA/West Ouchita High School
3 Kewaun May /OF /FR /Monticello, MS/Lawrence County High School
4 Stephen Barnett /P /R-FR /Terry, MS/Terry High School
5 Justin Olive /INF /FR/ Poplarville, MS/Poplarville High School
6 Wesley Watts /INF/P /SO /Brandon, MS/NW Rankin High School
7 Reed Taylor /C /FR /Summit, MS/North Pike High School
9 Jackson Cole /P /FR /Bogue Chitto, MS/Enterprise High School
10 Adrian Brown /OF /SO /McComb, MS / McComb High School
11 Alex Smith /P /SO /Wesson, MS / Wesson High School
12 Austin Douglas /P /FR /Mt. Olive, MS / Simpson County Academy
14 Lee Smith /P /FR /Hattiesburg, MS / Presbyterian Christian
16 Miles Thomas /P /FR /Clinton, MS / Clinton High School
17 Matthew Evans /UTL/P /SO /Brookhaven, MS / Brookhaven Academy
18 Austin Odom /P /FR /Mendenhall, MS / Mendenhall High School
19 Tanner Jones /P /FR /Brandon, MS / Pearl High School
20 Jeremy Moore /OF /R-FR /Florence, MS / Florence High School
21 Bailey Warren /INF /FR /Wesson, MS / Brookhaven Academy
22 Britton Johnson /OF /FR /Clinton, MS / Central Hinds Academy
23 Garrett Goodwin /UTL/P /FR /Laurel, MS / West Jones High School
24 Stevie Hubbard /OF /SO /Mendenhall, MS / Mendenhall High School
25 Logan Smith /C /FO /Brookhaven, MS / Loyd Star High School
26 Allen Reed /C /FR /Canton, MS / Canton Academy
27 Cole Langdon /P /FR /Ventress, LA / Catholic Pointe Coupee
29 Jackson Twitty /INF /FR /Ridgeland, MS / Ridgeland High School
30 Tanner Parvin /INF /SO /Brookhaven, MS / Brookhaven Academy
31 Austin Resser /INF /SO /Newton, KS / Pratt Community College (KS)
40 Shane Brown /P /SO /Braxton, MS / Simpson County Academy
8 Head Coach: Clay Smith
32 Assistant Coach: Bryan Nobile
15 Assistant Coach: Ronald Sims
Athletic Trainer: Matt McClain, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer: Jill Koenig