The baseball diamond at North Union High School has been undergoing a face-lift this summer. In the above photo, former Marysville High School assistant coaches, from left, Zane Bayliss and Todd Wilcox, help NU head coach Klarke Ransome, right, build a bullpen pitching mound.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
North Union High School head baseball coach Klarke Ransome looked around his diamond after the 2018 season and realized that some changes had to be made.
He just wasn’t sure at first exactly how to go about doing it.
“I know enough baseball to be able to coach it,” said Ransome, who guided the Wildcats to their first winning record in five seasons (12-9) this past spring.
“What I didn’t know was a lot about field maintenance,” the first-year head coach admitted.
Ransome didn’t have to look very far for help.
He put in a call to Todd Wilcox, who until this summer had served as an assistant coach at Marysville High School.
“‘Willie’ has done a lot of work maintaining Marysville’s diamond for several years,” said Ransome, who is also the boys junior varsity basketball coach at MHS. “He’s been a big part of helping with this project and I’m thankful he’s been here.”
“I was absolutely eager to help when Klarke gave me a call,” said Wilcox.
Zane Bayliss, another former Monarch assistant coach (now with Olentangy Orange), has also helped with the project.
North Union’s Diamond Club is picking up the $2,800 tab for the project that began early in July.
Brick fines have been placed in front of both dugouts, the infield has been edged along the baselines, the pitching mound is being built up and bullpen pitching mounds are being constructed for both the home and visiting teams. New dirt will also be placed on the skin of the infield.
Wilcox also built new helmet and bat racks for the dugouts.
“We’ve saved a good deal of money by using volunteer labor,” said Ransome.
“We really needed to do this work,” said the coach, who is a 2010 graduate of North Union. “This past year, our mound was about two feet farther away from the plate (62 feet instead of 60-6) and the lips around the infield were in bad shape.
“I was always afraid that someone was going to roll an ankle on the infield because it was so hazardous.”
“The North Union coaching staff is very motivated to improve the facility for the kids in the program,” said Wilcox.
Ransome and Wilcox both said the project could be completed as early as late this week.
Ransome added that the new look will be very beneficial to the Wildcat program.
“This is going to make the guys want to be out here,” he said. “Our diamond is located on the main road into Richwood (Route 37 that turns into North Franklin Street) and people will pass by and see all the work we have done. It’s going to make us proud of our field and our team.
“It’s been a long time since any work has been done on the diamond and folks in the community are starting to recognize it.”
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