Baseball eyes success with strong nucleus of returning letterwinners

Baseball eyes success with strong nucleus of returning letterwinners

Muskingum, under the guidance of veteran Head Coach Gregg Thompson, is looking to improve and build success in the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018. The Muskies' path to success will be guided by the return of 11 letterwinners.

Leading the way will be the junior All-OAC Honorable Mention Ben Van Wey and senior outfielder Eddie Harper.

Van Wey earned his first All-OAC honor in 2017 after starting all 38 games in centerfield for the Muskies. He had a career-high year with a .300 batting average with 39 hits, 27 runs, 18 RBIs and five doubles. 

Harper hit a career-high .312 with 15 RBIs and six doubles. He started 38 games and registered 43 hits and scored 31 runs. Harper ended last season with a team-best 18 stolen bases and finished with a .975 fielding percentage.

Also returning to aid the Muskie lineup are junior pitcher Evan Hinds, junior outfielder/catcher Marc Ibarra, junior catcher Michael Pagano, junior infielder Nate Mejia and senior pitcher Kyle Schmitgen.

Hinds appeared in 12 games while starting 10, won three games, recorded 40 strikeouts in 67.2 innings, and finished with a 4.39 ERA. Ibarra hit .228 with 11 RBIs, five doubles, and two home runs. Pagano played in 36 games and had 21 RBIs, four doubles and one home run, while Mejia logged eight RBIs and a pair of home runs in 32 games of action. Schmitgen appeared in 18 games collecting one win, four saves, logged in 36 strikeouts in 47 innings and ended the season with a 4.21 ERA.   

Coach Thompson will also have the benefit of a strong first-year class, coupled with veteran returners, to help add depth and talent to the 2018 roster.

Muskingum opens the campaign in Fort Pierce, Florida as they will play seven different teams during its Spring Break trip with the first game being on Sunday, March 4. All games will feature Live Stats. The Muskies open home play on Friday, March 16 against Hiram and open OAC play Saturday, March 24 vs. Wilmington.