Baseball Isn't Too Far Away
There is a silver lining to this month’s snow, ice and cold: Wolves baseball is almost here.
The season is scheduled to start February 5 in Talledega. The first home game is scheduled for February 11 against Georgia College & State University’s Bobcats.
With the new season comes renewal for the team. It’s the first season that head baseball coach Skip Fite is working with players he recruited.
“We are looking to do better than last year,” said Fite, who came to UWG in 2009 from Augusta State University.
“We struggled last year,” he said. “We feel like we have improved the team.”
Last year the team was 13-41.
But Fite is looking forward to working with his newcomers as well as returning players. He’s looking for more speed and more power from the team.
Pitchers on the roster: Jarod Slaven, who comes to UWG by way of Georgia Perimeter College; red shirt freshman Brandon Crumbley, who comes from Salem High School in Conyers; and freshman Jamie Sexton, from Jefferson High School in Jackson County.
To assemble the team, Fite recruited heavily.
Recruitment is the key to a winning season and the most difficult part of coaching, he said.
It’s almost like a courtship.
“You work as hard as you can. You send information. And ask, if they are interested, when you can come by to talk to them.”
If the prospective player is interested, the recruitment efforts steps up with a campus visit.
“We talk from there,” Fite said. “If you do a good job at recruiting it makes great coaching.”
“We didn’t have that last year. We’ve recruited some individuals with some good foot speed,” he said.
For speed Fite is looking to freshmen Bill Redmon, a shortstop from Commerce, Ga., and Danny Bodziack, a centerfielder from Sarasota, Fl.
Returning is sophomore Brett Wright, who plays outfield, and can run 60 yards in under seven seconds.
“He will be one of our fastest,” Fite said.
He expects transfer Stuart Drew to also bring speed to the team. Drew, who graduated from Coffee High School in Douglas County, transferred from South Georgia College.
Drew “stole 38 bases last year and will be one of our quickest players,” Fite said.
Third baseman Garrett May, who transferred from East Tennessee State University and graduated from Marietta High School, brings “homerun capacity and leadership,” Fite said.
He’s also looking to junior and Woodstock native Andy Marinelli, a catcher who transferred from Chattanooga State to bring “a lot of leadership and offensive capacity.”
First baseman Daniel Henley, who did not play last year because of injury, had the Wolves' highest batting average in 2009.
Also key to the team’s success is Assistant Coach Jeff Smith, who came to UWG in August from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. Smith is the Wolves’ recruiting coordinator and pitching coach.
“He’s doing a good job, is very energetic and happy to be here,” Fite said.
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