UC Clermont Baseball Starts Another Season Swinging for the Fences

The UC Clermont College baseball team is coming off a strong season, capped last May by a runner-up finish in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series. The Cougars will try this year for another home run season with a much younger team, with only four upperclassmen on the 2017 roster. But what the Cougars lack in experience, said Head Coach Keith Bauman, they make up for in talent.

“I feel confident,” Bauman said. “We are a very young team, but our talent is deeper than last year. We should do pretty well.”

The Cougars open the season the same way they do every year, against one of the best programs in the National Association of Intercollegiate Colleges, Union College. Clermont has never defeated the Bulldogs, but did have a lead late in the game last season before losing by one.

Clermont also has tough games on the schedule against Georgetown College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a home game against rival Penn State Greater Allegheny. They open the season Saturday, Feb. 25, against Union College.

Two of the strongest returning players for the Cougars are power hitter Nick King and All-American center fielder Jake Murray. King was second on the team in home runs last year and will be looked upon to set the pace for the offense. Murray is following a stellar 2016 by moving to shortstop to give Clermont more leadership in the infield. Bauman was also excited about adding two ‘big-time pitchers’ in Jake Allen and Jonathon Deifel. 

“Pitching is usually our weakness, but we have probably 10 quality pitchers on our staff now. All of them can throw strikes and keep us in games,” Bauman said. But while pitching may be a strength, he still has high expectations for scoring. “Even though we’re young, we should be able to hit well, and we’ve added a lot of speed to our team. We should be fast but also fairly strong.”

UC Clermont has been to the USCAA Small College World Series the last four years, winning a national championship once, so winning another is a goal for the team. But success, as far as Bauman is concerned, is judged on more than the final result.

“Our goal is always to win a national championship, but a successful season would be the guys enjoying what they’re doing, representing the school well, and just going out and competing as hard as they can,” he said. 

For more information about the baseball program visit: http://www.ucclermont.edu/athletics/MensBaseball.html

UC Clermont Athletics includes Women's Volleyball, Men's & Women's Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Baseball and Softball. The UC Clermont Cougars participate in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Cougars have been successful in bringing home national championship titles in men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. In addition, the volleyball and softball programs have been ranked nationally and have been highly competitive in national tournament play.