Bombers return to field with good problems

Dave Weatherwax/The Herald
Dubois County starter Spencer Sapp plans to start four games for the Bombers before heading to Ohio University in late June for summer classes and workouts. The 2011 Jasper High School graduate says continuing to develop his curveball and better locate his pitches, in spots, will be among his chief concerns this year with the Bombers. Dubois County will start its home schedule at 6:15 p.m. Sunday against Fulton.

By JOHN PATISHNOCK
Herald Sports Writer

For the first time in a while, the Dubois County Bombers have good problems to worry about.

How do they sustain the momentum they created after finishing with a winning record (37-26) and reaching last summer’s Prospect League’s championship series for the first time?

How do they capitalize on another new marketing campaign that highlights the stadium’s connection with the movie “A League Of Their Own”?

And how do they highlight the talented players they have who grew up in the area and are returning to the lineup this season?

Easy: just get on the field, play and let the talent show through.

“We’re expecting a successful year,” said returning starter Spencer Sapp, a 2011 Jasper High School graduate. “Just from watching batting practice and doing bullpen (work) and fielding practice, we look like we have a lot of talent and nice guys. I really like the team and expect good things this year.”

Sapp plans on starting four games for the Bombers before heading to Ohio University in late June for summer classes and workouts. His chief goal while with the Bombers will be to continue to develop his curveball, with Sapp saying he “sort of lost a little bit of a feel for that over the last couple of years.” He also wants to work on locating his pitches better and escaping tough situations, such as when a runner is on third base with less than two outs.

Last season, Dubois County featured lesser-known guys that Sapp described as “gritty players” who worked hard.

“We played against big names and actually surprised people with how talented we are,” he said.

As the Bombers competed in the Prospect League last season, it was common for them to face players from large schools; Sapp mentioned LSU and Mississippi State, among others, though he expects that to change this season with the team shifting to the Ohio Valley League. Dubois County will play against only five teams in the regular season, all in Kentucky — the Madisonville Pirates, Fulton Railroaders, Owensboro Oilers, Marion Bobcats and Hopkinsville Hoppers — cutting down on long bus trips.

“That’s definitely nicer,” Sapp said. “It’s nice to be able to return home before 2 a.m. on those nights and nice to be closer to home, that’s for sure.”

Joining Sapp on the pitching staff are Clint Chestnut (Pike Central, Olney Central Junior College), Tyler Mitchell (Greenville College, Tenn.), Tyler Nichols (Southern Indiana), Ty Simpson (Heritage Hills, Vincennes University), Dan Schmidt (Madison College, Wis.), Connor Strain (Evansville), Bryce Wilz (Loogootee, Southeastern Illinois Junior College) and Jonathan Williams (St. Joseph’s College).

Dane Giesler (Jasper, Wabash Valley Junior College) will occupy third base, Hunter Serrato (St. Joseph’s College) will switch between first base and the outfield, Jacob Armstrong (Alabama-Birmingham) will catch and play third base, Shain Showers (Evansville) and returning player Bo Ausmus (Carson-Newman College) can switch between shortstop and second base, Eric McKibban (Evansville) is expected to play first base and Rick Linton (Murray State) will catch. Kyle Schwinghamer (Forest Park, Evansville), Hamilton Carr (Southern Indiana) and Andre Davis (Chabot College, Calif.) will all play the outfield.

First-year coach Wes Fink said the lineup is still in flux but added the organization is moving in the right direction under new ownership. Fink played for the Bombers from 2006 to ’09 and added the new schedule will be an advantage with the Bombers regularly seeing the same pitchers.
Dubois County will begin its home schedule at 6:15 p.m. Sunday against Fulton; the regular season will conclude July 24 and the playoffs will end by the end of the month, a switch from when the Bombers played into early August.

Smaller window. Simple goal.

“My thing is, I told them, ”˜We’ll go out there and compete,’” Fink said of his message to the players. “The main thing for these guys is having fun competing and getting better so when they go back to college, they’ve improved.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.

BOMBERS 2013 ROSTER
Note: Players listed with name, position and 2013 school.
Jacob Armstrong, INF/OF (Alabama-Birmingham)
Bo Ausmus, INF (Carson-Newman)
Kyle Briner, P (Lee University, Tenn.)
Hamilton Carr, OF (Southern Indiana)
Clint Chestnut, P (Pike Central, Olney Central)
Andre Davis, P/OF (Chabot College, Calif.)
Ryan Dixon, P (Bellarmine)
Dane Giesler, INF (Jasper, Wabash Valley Junior College)
Cole Griesinger, OF (Ball State)
Marty Hustad, P (Olney Central)
Rick Linton, C (Murray State)
Eric McKibban, INF/OF (Evansville)
Tyler Mitchell, P (Greenville College, Tenn.)
Tyler Nichols, P (Southern Indiana)
Wesley Purcell, OF (Austin Peay)
Jesse Puscheck, INF (Canisus College, N.Y.)
Dan Schmidt, P/OF (Madison College, Wis.)
Kyle Schwinghamer, OF (Forest Park, Evansville)
Hunter Serrato, INF/OF (St. Joseph’s College)
Shain Showers, INF (Evansville)
Spencer Sapp, P (Jasper, Ohio University)
Ty Simpson, P (Heritage Hills, Vincennes University)
Connor Strain, P (Evansville)
Chris Tavares, C (Oachita Baptist College, Ark.)
Jonathan Williams, P (St. Joseph’s College)
Bryce Wilz, P (Loogootee, Southeastern Illinois Junior College)
 
COACHING STAFF
Wes Fink, Huntingburg (Southern Indiana)
Greg Gogel, Huntingburg (Hanover)
Zach Long, Jefferson City (Carson-Newman)

BOMBERS HOME SCHEDULE
Note: All home games are at League Stadium. Game times Monday through Saturday are 7:15 p.m.; game times Sunday are 6:05 p.m.
June
Sunday, 2 — Fulton
Wednesday, 5 — Marion
Friday, 7 — Hopkinsville
Sunday, 9 — Madisonville
Wednesday, 12 — Owensboro
Thursday, 13 — Fulton
Saturday, 15 — Marion
Wednesday, 19 — Hopkinsville
Friday, 21 — Madisonville
Sunday, 23 — Owensboro
Thursday, 27 — Fulton
Saturday, 29 — Marion
July
Tuesday, 2 — Hopkinsville
Thursday, 4 — Madisonville
Friday, 5 — Owensboro
Sunday, 7 — Fulton
Wednesday, 10 — Marion
Friday, 12 — Hopkinsville
Sunday, 14 — Madisonville
Wednesday, 17 — Owensboro
Sunday, 21 — Hopkinsville
Tuesday, 23 — Madisonville




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