|Register File Photo/Jocelyn Sheets
Sophomore John Michael Moore (18) is back as Allen County Community College’s closer. Allen County has a strong and deep pitching staff heading into the 2010 baseball season.
That’s right, Allen County Community College’s Red Devils are scheduled to open the 2010 baseball season today. They are in Texas taking on North Central Texas in a doubleheader.
The Red Devils are headed to Tishomingo, Okla., for three games Saturday and Sunday against Murray State Community College.
Allen County’s first nine games of the season are on the road. The Red Devils’ home opener is March 6 against Brown Mackie.
That’s if the weather cooperates. Last spring it was so wet and the Red Devils ended the regular season bailing water off Red Devil Field to be able to play.
“We’d like a drier season this year,” said Val McLean, ACCC’s head coach. “It was tough at the end when the rain came and we were bailing water off the field to finish the regular season and to be able to play our playoff games here.”
But always the optimist, McLean puts that behind him and looks forward to a strong 2010 run by his Red Devils.
Dry ground would be more conducive to Allen County’s plan to use its overall team speed this season.
“We have excellent team speed and we’ll be using a lot of hit and run offensively,” McLean said. “We do have some hitters who can hit for power but we’re looking for the base hits and moving runners.”
Not a bad idea if McLean’s evaluation of the ACCC pitching staff stands up. McLean said the Red Devils have a very good problem — a deep pitching staff.
“We have a lot of talent which is a good thing to have and also a bad thing — trying to get everybody time on the field,” McLean said.
“We don’t have one or two overpowering pitchers like we had last year but a solid staff. Our guys are throwing a lot of strikes and are consistent on the mound.”
McLean said his team is balanced from top to bottom. ‘We don’t have a lot of great players but good players who make plays and I’m looking for us to be very, very competitive.”
Allen County finished last year with a 12-game winning streak in regular season play. The Red Devils were 25-11 in conference play and were third in the Jayhawk Eastern Division.
Allen County lost to Seward County in the Region VI playoff series. Seward lost to Cowley County of the Jayhawk East, in the Region VI tournament championship game. Cowley County played in the 2009 JUCO World Series.
“There’s not much difference between the top team and the bottom teams in our conference any more. Cowley County is always good and we split with them last year,” McLean said.
“This is a fun bunch to coach and will be a fun bunch to watch play.”
McLean has tabbed sophomores David Ormiston and Matthew Stalcup, freshman Kyle Grana and sophomore Mark Thompson as his top four starting pitchers. Ormiston is a right-hander who went 3-3 last year for ACCC. He pitched 43 1/3 innings, recording 24 strikeouts, and had a 5.40 earned run average (ERA).
Stalcup is a left-hander who was 2-2 a year ago. He had 23 strikeouts and 14 hits. Thompson is a right-hander who started last year and was 4-3 with a 4.95 ERA. He allowed 38 hits, 28 walks and 29 strikeouts.
“We have good experience back among our pitching staff. David is throwing 88 to 91 miles per hour and so is Kyle. All four of these guys have shown good arm strength and control,” McLean said.
Allen County has its closer back in the bullpen in sophomore right-hander John Michael Moore. Moore had two saves and was 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA. He struck out 33 and issued 16 walks.
Two more returning sophomore pitchers are Ben Pearson, a left-hander, and Bryan Couch, a right-hander.
Freshmen pitchers are Cody Wren, Brad Alberts, Devin Hess, Aaron Burke, Dylan Bowman and Zach Dady. Burke is a submariner from the right side and Dady is a left-hander.
The Red Devils have three sophomore catchers. Ryan Reddick hit .364 last year with 29 runs batted in (RBI) and had nine doubles. Michael Schell, tagged as the top catcher this season, comes back from an injury suffered last year. He hit .200 in five games.
“Michael has good tools behind the plate. Ryan is coming back from arm surgery this year and we should have him back for the last half of the season. Spencer Putman will see time behind the plate early in the year,” McLean said.
Allen County plans to platoon players at first, shortstop and third base. Sophomore Wyatt Hall is back as starting second baseman.
Hall hit .303 last year with 28 RBIs, 11 doubles, three triples and two home runs. Working at first will be sophomore Connor McCrite and freshman Ryan Fike.
Michael Samuel, a sophomore, and freshman Brayden Brumley are ACCC’s shortstops. Samuel hit .268 last year in limited duty with 19 hits and 12 RBIs.
Freshmen Curtis Bunch and Ben Lawson are working at third base. Bunch and Riley Price, another freshman, are vying for the designated hitter spot.
In the outfield, Allen County return starters Marcus Peavler and Bretton Ater to left field and center field, respectively. Ater was second on the team in stolen bases with 19 and Peavler was third with 14. Peavler hit .351 with 29 RBIs, 11 doubles and two triples. Ater hit .313 with 22 RBIs, nine doubles and one triple.
Stefaan Jefferson, a sophomore, and freshman Bryce Williams are slated to share duties in right field. Jefferson hit .277 last year.
“We didn’t hit the ball hard as I wanted us to in the fall but have worked hard in the off-season. We’re solid defensively,” McLean said.
“We’re just excited about getting the season started.”
Allen County Community College
2010 Baseball Schedule
Feb. 19 — North Central Texas, 1 p.m.
Feb. 20 — Murray State (Okla.), 1 p.m.
Feb. 21 — Murray State (Okla.), 11 a.m. (1)
Feb. 27 — Rose State (Okla.), 1 p.m.
Feb. 28 — Rose State (Okla.), 11 a.m. (1)
March 4 — Seminole (Okla.), 2 p.m. (1)
March 6 — Brown Mackie, 1 p.m.
March 7 — Iowa Western, 1 p.m. (1)
March 11 — Evangel College JV, 3 p.m.
March 13 — Coffeyville, 1 p.m.
March 16 — Cowley County, 3 p.m.
March 19 — Highland, 2 p.m.
March 20 — Johnson County, 1 p.m.
March 23 — Labette, 3 p.m.
March 25 — Neosho County, 1 p.m.
March 27 — Kansas City, Kan., 1 p.m.
March 30 — Independence, 1 p.m.
April 1 — Fort Scott, 1 p.m.
April 3 — Coffeyville, 1 p.m.
April 6 — Cowley County, 2 p.m.
April 8 — Highland, 2 p.m.
April 10 — Johnson County, 1 p.m.
April 13 — Labette, 2 p.m.
April 15 — Neosho County, 3 p.m.
April 17 — Kansas City, Kan., 1 p.m.
April 20 — Independence, 3 p.m.
April 22 — Fort Scott, 3 p.m.
April 24 — Brown Mackie, 1 p.m.
April 29 — Butler, 3 p.m. (1)
May 4 — Butler, 3 p.m. (1)
May 8-10 — Region VI playoffs
May 15-18 — Region VI tournament
Home games in bold.
All dates are doubleheaders unless indicated.