GHS Baseball has mix of veterans and newcomers

© 2017-Mountain Statesman

GRAFTON—The Grafton High School baseball team will open up its 2017 season this Tuesday as they play host to WV class AAA University High Hawks. If the weather cooperates, the Cats will take on the Hawks at Austin Upton Field at 5:00 pm.

The Bearcats will be looking to reload this season as names such as Musgrove, Keener, Wright and Smith are gone from the line-up, but with that said, names such as Collins, Musgrave, McDaniel, Shumaker and Lough will be returning to the Bearcat line-up.

Last season the Bearcats recorded a 15-13 record last season and they were one game away from their goal of making it to the state tournament.

“Our goal this season is just like my goal for every season,” said third year head coach Josh Ashby. “We want to make it to the state tournament in Charleston.”

“We have a good mix of seasoned veterans and newcomers this season,” said Ashby. “We have Ryan Musgrave who will be seeing the majority of time on the mound for us and Matthew McDaniel who hit .400 for us last season. Cole Collins is back and I consider one of the best players in the state,” he added.

Cole Collins will be playing in his final season as a soon to be 4 year letterman for the varsity Cats. Cole was platoon between short-stop and third base for the Bearcats for his first few years but it looks like this year he may see more action on the right side of the infield as the Bearcat second baseman. Last season, Collins hit .391 with 21 RBI’s while going deep 4 times for the Cats. Collins also recorded a .517 on base percentage with a slugging percentage of .768.

Once again this season, Matthew McDaniel will be seeing action as the Bearcat first baseman as well as getting time on the hill for the Cats. Last season McDaniel led the Bearcats from the plate with an impressive .400 batting average with 30 base hits and recording 16 RBI’s. Last season McDaniel had 4 appearances recording a 0-1 record with one strikeout.

The “Ace” on the hill for the Cats will be senior Ryan Musgrave who posted a 1-2 record last season for the Cats. Musgrave had an earned run average of 3.8 and struck-out 14 batters last season. At the plate last season, Musgrove had 15 hits and scored 10 runs.

Zach Shumaker returns this season and will holding down the “hot corner” for the Cats. Shumaker will also be seeing a great deal of time on the mound for the Cats as he appeared in six games last season and led the team in saves. Shumaker recorded six runs on five hits last season for the Cats.

Grafton fans will be seeing some new faces around the GHS diamond this season as seniors Cameron Forte, Anthony Robinson and Anthony Phillips will see action with the varsity Cats.

“We also have an exciting junior class returning this season,” said Ashby. “Dominic Lough is back and he has given us some outstanding play in the outfield for the last two seasons as well as Marcus Bevilock and Ryan Hess who both have looked impressive this spring,” he added.

Junior Dominic Lough will once again hold down the right side of the outfield this season. Lough, who it in the number 2 spot last season, recorded 18 hits and had a .415 on base percentage. He scored 16 runs last season and recorded 10 RBI’s.

Junior’s Marcus Bevilock and Ryan Hess will see extensive time this season for the Cats. Bevilock, who started 15 games last season at second will see time in the infield while Hess will see time both in the infield and in the outfield for the Bearcats.

“In the sophomore class, Garrett Moats is going to be asked to step up and throw more innings for us this year and TJ Summers has also looked good behind the plate for us,” said Ashby.

Sophomore Garrett Moats will see action in the infield and on the mound for the Bearcats. Last season Moats appeared in 3 games and recorded seven strikeouts while holding down an earned run average of 3.

TJ Summers, who backed up Justice Keener last season, is fighting hard for the starting job at catcher for the Cats. Last season, Summers started two games last season behind the plate as a freshman.

The Bearcats open up their season tomorrow night as they will host University High at 5:00 pm.

© 2017-Mountain Statesman

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