2014 Baseball Outlook
Head Coach Jason Reinsch and the College of the Ozarks Bobcats are excited to get the 2014 season underway. The team has great chemistry and includes ten new players on the roster. Coach Reinsch states, “I am proud of our student athletes as they seek to demonstrate high character not only on the field but also in the classroom and at their work stations. Baseball is a demanding sport, taking place under many different conditions, so our team is striving to be mentally tough and mentally prepared for the season ahead.” The Bobcats are looking to improve upon last year’s 19-24 record with this year’s lineup.
Senior right-hander Timmy Townsend, with a 5.15 ERA and .324 batting average in 2013, has established himself as the Bobcats’ number one pitcher in the rotation. He has continued to improve throughout his time at CofO and will take on a large leadership role with the team this year. Landon Jarrett (SR), a left-handed pitcher with good off-speed pitches, is coming off a solid first season with the ‘Cats (5.48 ERA) and will be used in a variety of roles this year. Filling out the senior class is David Zamora, who is a highly competitive right-handed pitcher and one of the hardest workers on the team. Transfer Silas Bohannan is projected to be one of the Bobcats’ top arms this spring. The right hander brings good velocity and improved off-speed pitches to the mound. The coaching staff also looks for Bohannan to provide power at the plate for the ‘Cats. Also new to the Bobcats pitching staff is freshman Austin Reaves, who led his Willlard High School Tigers to a victory in sectionals. He was named 2nd Team All-Conference, having a 9-0 record with a 2.1 ERA his junior season. Reaves is expected to be a cornerstone of the bullpen, holding the role as the main left hander out of the pen. Returning to the pitching staff are right handers Justin VonAllman, Alex Stephens, and Jason Myers, along with lefty Josh Neufeld. VonAllman (SO) progressed significantly this year, showing great increase in his velocity and location on the mound. Stephens’ (RFR) strongest attribute is that he constantly throws strikes and has great command of all his pitches. Myers moved into the rotation at the close of 2013, and is expected to return to that spot due to his poise and command in his previous experience on the mound. Neufeld (JR) is likely to be an anchor in the Bobcats’ rotation for the third straight year. Thanks to his improved command this offseason, the coaching staff is expecting a lot of quality innings this spring.
Three underclassmen—Rasumssen, Rowold and Georgiev—will join junior transfer Tyler Marion in receiving the ball this season. Winston Rasmussen, a freshman transfer from Crowder College, does a good job behind the plate managing the pitching staff and can also play first base. Hitting for high average and power, he will likely see a good number of at bats this season. Georgi Georgiev, who red-shirted in 2013, has continued to improve, demonstrating a great ability to catch and a very strong physical presence behind the plate. Sophomore Caleb Rowold has been working on his offensive game this offseason, and Coach Reinsch expects Rowold will be used in a variety of situations this year. Tyler Marion, a transfer from North Central Missouri College, will see a bulk of his playing time behind the plate. Tyler has great athleticism, which includes a strong throwing arm behind the plate and also in the outfield.
Returning infielders Trevor Bowling, Eddy Devora and Malachi Melton will be joined by newcomers Garret Woods (SO), Landon Teal (JR), Andrew Eaves (FR) and J.D. Chadwell (RS). During the 2013 season, Devora (.296 AVG, .327 OBP) and Bowling (.294/.389) were strong contributors at the plate. Devora, a senior, is one of the Bobcats’ best offensive weapons, who can hit for average and power; he will move to third base this spring. Bowling (SO) is a great all-around ballplayer, with strong hitting and smart base running. Bowling is also known for his defense, making big plays at second base. Melton (SR) has shown tremendous power—he and Devora led the team in home runs last season. Melton has worked hard to improve his defense this fall, and looks to be a key piece to the Bobcats’ success this coming season. Woods is a redshirt sophomore transfer from Hutchinson Community College looking to make some noise in his first season as a Bobcat. Landon Teal, also a transfer, brings with him exceptional defense and is expected to anchor the middle infield. His solid defensive presence is a huge boost for the Bobcats. Eaves has developed into a solid player on both offense and defense this fall and is very versatile. The coaching staff looks to move Drew around quite a bit this season in the infield due to his athleticism and ability to defend. J. D., a red-shirt freshman, looks to be a solid hitter for the team in the future. Chadwell showed good improvement this fall and promises to continue improving throughout the season.
The Bobcats will have a strong, defensive and offensive presence returning to the outfield this season. Junior Cody Pentecost is one of the premiere center fielders in the history of the Bobcats’ program, with solid left-handed hitting, above-average defense, and great base-running skills. The team looks for Pentecost to lead them this season. Tyler Lopez (SR) is known as one of the more consistent hitters on the team. He shines offensively in critical conference games, giving him a “clutch” factor that comes up huge for the ‘Cats in big games. Lopez also led the Bobcats in stolen bases last season and contributed 27 RBI. Sophomore Cody Hull shows great speed and base running ability, posting seven steals in only 11 games played last season. His speed and knowledge make him a threat any time he is on the base path. Ryan Forrest (SO) has been a great addition to the team due to his willingness to always work hard. He is a great outfielder and a solid option at the plate. Freshman Fisher is coming off a good career at Hollister High School. Fisher has proven to be a hard worker and a great teammate, and the coaches applaud his motivation. Austin Schweiss, also a freshman, is a very gifted, all-around athlete who will spend time in various outfield positions this spring.
Catch the Bobcats in action this spring at Bob Smith Field on the campus of College of the Ozarks. You can find a schedule at: www.cofo.edu/athletics.