Baseball Opens Season At Georgia Southwestern

Erin Wilson

          Kentucky Wesleyan College is well-known for its tremendous athletes and athletic teams. One of the best teams here at Kentucky Wesleyan is the baseball team and they started off their season by traveling all the way to Georgia Southwestern for an away game against a very tough opponent. They ended the series 1-2 against Georgia Southwestern who is ranked nationally. Even with such a high ranking, it didn’t stop the panthers from putting up a fight. They finished the first game just one run behind the Canes and won the second game by one run. There were many outstanding performances by the Panthers’ seniors in the first game. Josh Galvan #23 went 3 for 4 at bat and had 1 RBI. Adam Brown #18 went 2 for 3 and Seth Campbell #1 went 1 for 3 as well. In the second game, senior Seth Campbell #1 went 2 for 2 at bat while senior Nate Stemle #8 stepped up huge for the Panthers and went 4 for 4 at bat with an RBI as well. The second game also featured sophomore Cody Bridges #35 who went 2 for 4 at bat with 3 RBI’s and 1 run as well as junior Levi Tanner #13 going 1 for 2 at bat with 2 runs. The Panthers have a very strong team coming into this 2017 season and the future games will only show it. Two of our very own players, Ryan Hundley and Jacob Snodgrass, were named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 2017 All-Region teams. Both Hundley and Snodgrass earned Second-Team honors on the Midwest All-Region team. Hundley, now a sophomore, was named to the GMAC first team last season as well as named a GMAC all freshman honoree. Hundley, a very talented relief pitcher, led the conference with 8 saves last season, hoping to do a repeat again this season. Snodgrass, like Hundley, also received GMAC first team honors but for utility player. He finished the 2016 season with a .321 batting average, was 10 for 10 for stolen bases, and started every game for the Panthers as well. The Panthers were ranked #2 in the preseason GMAC coaches poll with 37 points, finishing just behind Trevecca Nazarene who had 41 points. The Panthers also broke a school record in their last season with 36 wins, making Coach Todd Lillpop reach his 300th game win as well.

        It is no surprise why the Panthers’ baseball team is ranked so high. The Panthers have a bright future ahead of them this season with many returning players led by their 8 seniors, Stemle, Snodgrass, Campbell, Brown, Galvan, Walsh, Lasley, and Bailey. The Panthers even had one of their very own bring home the first GMAC pitcher of the week award of 2017, received by junior Nate Verst. Verst came in as a relief pitcher during the fifth inning of the last game against Georgia Southwestern and pitched two scoreless innings. The Panthers have a somewhat young team this season but that won’t stop them from winning. The Panthers have won at least 30+ games over the last 3 seasons consecutively and have a strong and successful past and will continue to keep it that way as they travel to Millington, Tennessee to they face Tiffin playing a set of four games. They will play Tiffin on Friday, a doubleheader against Quincy on Saturday, and a single game against Saint Joseph’s on Sunday. The Panthers’ first home game will be March 11th against Saginaw Valley, so make sure you come out to Panther Park to support the baseball team! It’s going to be a season to remember as they chase and fight for those rings to be conference champs!