The 2019 North Union Wildcat varsity baseball team is pictured from left, front row, Josh Cahill, Trevyn Feasel, Carsen Newell, Micah Orr, Joel Krebehenne, Aaron Krebehenne, Riley Young and Bryce McNeal; second row, coach Corey L. Lyles, coach Trenton Pugh, Zach Ahern, Kase Orahood, Nick Reeder, Anthony Padovano, Ashden Turrill and head coach Klarke Ransome.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The North Union Wildcat baseball team will look to its experience during its first season in the Central Buckeye Conference.
That experience will be led by a group of 10 seniors, all with playing time at the varsity level.
Head coach Klarke Ransome said those players are the backbone of the team and will be the focus of their success this season.
“We have 10 seniors and a lot of guys that have been here before,” Ransom said. “Our leadership has been a strength as well. The guys are hungry and they want to have a special year.”
The Wildcats will look to improve upon last season’s record of 12-10 under Ransome, who is now in his sophomore season as the head coach.
He believes the approach to improving over the season will be “little by little” and one day at a time.
“We just to continue to get better,” Ransom said. “We don’t want to look ahead. We want to be playing our best baseball in May.”
In order to get to that place the Cats will look to key players like Carsen Newell, who is returning to the team after an injury.
The majority of the team has already played a season under Ransome and the expectations are already understood.
“Our leadership and experience is something that we will lean on throughout the season,” Ransome said. “The guys know the expectations and how the coaching staff wants to do things, which is a positive.”
With the move to the new league, the Wildcats will have to find their place in the Mad River Division with only one familiar opponent, Benjamin Logan, on the schedule.
The remaining teams are unknownsm according to Ransome.
“The league itself is a grind,” he said. “On our side, I really don’t know much about anyone but Ben Logan.
“We usually play them every year and they are always a quality opponent,” he said. “From seeing recent standings, they have won their fair share of conference titles, which is not surprising.”
The Wildcats will also have to face a few teams from the larger Kenton Trail Division, where they will run into familiar foe in Jonathan Alder.
“On the other side (Kenton Trail) all the schools are Division I and II,” Ransome said. “All the teams are talented, but from what I have seen, Kenton Ridge is always near the top.
“We have seen Jonathan Alder before and know what a great program they have.”
With the talent pool high, the Wildcats will attempt to make a run for the top during their inaugural season in the CBC.
Ransome believes with the leadership high for the team, NU has a real shot at making some head way.
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