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1997 Ohio Valley Redcoats


Todd Anderson:(2-4, 5.29 ERA,4 saves.) Graduate of Eastern Tenn. State. Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1995 in the 48 round. Closer threw well in limited save opportunites, hit 93 mph against Canton.

Brian Garsky:(0-1, 7.00 ERA.) Pitched for the Vermont Expo's in 1996,5-1 with 3.18 ERA. Only threw two games before a strained ligament in elbow knocked him out.

Chad Morris:(1-1, 6.43 ERA.)Pitched for the Vermont Expo's in 1996, 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA. Leading the Frontier League in strikeouts when he quit.

Scott Beach:(1-4, 5.35 ERA.) Played in the NY Penn League for the Pirates, 40 round draft pick. Frontier League All Star, pitched well in middle relief.

Greg Gerland:(1-4, 5.56 ERA, 2 saves.) Graduate of Cumberland University pitched in Brave system in the Gulf Coast League and Appy League. Pitched for Redcoats in 1996 2-4 with 5.06 ERA. LPH reliever who pitched well when throwing strikes had four saves.

T.J. Blandford:(4-1, 6.71 ERA, 1 save.) Bellarmine Graduate. Part time starter and reliever,pitched well, good slider.

Sean Economo:(6-2, 4.97 ERA.) lead the team with 6 wins, control pitcher.

Matt Johnson:(1-1, 2.35 ERA.) USC Aiken Graduate. Threw 7 innings of shutout ball before hurting arm in next game.

Ray Sutton:(0-3, 13.51 ERA.) 4-0 with 2.64 ERA at West Virginia State. Was hit very hard in three starts (released)

Gary Morris:(0-2, 9.65 ERA)Graduate of Western Michigan State, drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1992 in the 39 round. Had a few decent games in relief but hammered as a starter. (released)

Matt Palisan:(0-3) 6.65 ERA.) Pitched for Johnstown Steal in 1994-97 before coming over to the Redcoats. Won the Frontier League Championship in 1994. Losts three starts for Redcoats before hooking up with Chillicothe and beating the Redcoats a few times.

E.C. Krevonick:(0-0, 9.15 ERA.) Graduate of Tulane University pitched for the Welland Aquaducks in the Noth Atlantic League and 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA for Redcoats in 1996. Threw a few games and starts but usually hit very hard.

Scott Tillington: (0-3, 5.40 ERA, 1 save) Graduate of BYU and also attended Kansas State. Soft tossing lefty, had a few good relief appearances.

Pete Saweczko:(0-1, 10.51 ERA) pitched one game, hit hard before leaving without work visa.

Ryan Fox:(2-9, 6.65 ERA, 1 Save.)Graduate of Western Michigan University. Played for Minnestoa Skeaters in the North Central League, St Paul Saints in the Northern League, Odgen in the Pioneer League and 2-2 with a 4.43 ERA with the Redcoats last year.

Stewart Hancock:(1-9, 8.24 ERA.) Pitched for Evansville last year. Hit very hard as a starter, sent to the bull pen.

Larry Burkendine:(0-3, 15.26 ERA.) Delaware State Graduate .Came over from Johnstown Steal among league leaders in walks, brings his own radar gun to games, did not think he threw only 83-86mph, wanted a second opinion.

Chris Broadway: Graduate of Madonna University. Injured during tryouts and never activated. Reached 94 mph during tryouts.

Luther Bowen: (0-0, 20.25 ERA)

Jeff Cordle: (0-1, 9.24 ERA)

Lance Dobbins: (0-4, 12.64 ERA)

Brad Hall: (0-1, 19.83 ERA)

Carlos Simmons: (2-3, 4.30 ERA)


Josh Herman:(.339, 4 HR , 31RBI) Viginia Tech graduate hit .300 for Redcoats in 1996. Finished third in the Frontier League in hitting 339 average.

Frank Colon: (.200, 0 HR 1RBI ) Graduate of SUNY at Stony Brook. released after hitting .200, Playing in the Northeast League hitting .298.

Brendan Connolly:(.189, 0 HR, 2 RBI )Graduate of St Francis College. Back up hitting about .200 , (released) now in Heartland League.

Jason Moore: (.179, 5HR, 20 RBI)


Darrell Fatzinger:(.308, 14 HR, 60RBI) All American at Marrieta College. Frontier League All Star in 1994,1996, and 1997.

Donny Burks :(.252, 0 HR, 23 RBI) Richmond University, hit .300 in 16 games for Redcoats in 1996.  Played in All Star Game, good defensively.

Charlie Feld:(.228, 5 HR, 11RBI) Norwood University,hit in the low 220, hit a few home runs (released).

Barry Shelton:(.232, 9HR, 30RBI) All American from West Virginia State. Drafted in the 21 round played in the Gulf Coast League and South Atlantic League for the White Sox.

Todd Cunningham:(.286, 6HR, 29RBI, 20 Stolen bases.) Graduate of Ferrum College. Good speed and Arm, hit about .250.

John Manuelian:(.232, 1HR, 10 RBI)Long Island University. Led the Atlantic Collegiate League in hitting in 1995. Hit .396 in his senior year at LIU.

Jeff Berman:(.248, 1HR, 20 RBI) Graduate of Maryland Eastern University. Lead conference in hitting his junior year. Good defensively .

Rob McIver: (.221, 5HR, 13 RBI)


John Johnson:(.187, 0HR, 2 RBI) Hit .400 at West Virginia State, All Mid South Conference. Release after a week, hitting below .200.

Mike Dansky:(.250, 0HR, 6 RBI) LIU graduate hit .337 in 1996. Released despite being the top hitting outfielder at .250.

Alan Chase:(.232, 1HR, 8 RBI) Played in the NAIA World Series for Dallas Bapist University. Quit and plays for Kalamazoo, hitting well there.

Alex Inclan:(.000, 0HR, 0 RBI) released after two at bats.

Ramon Davenport:(.197, 1HR, 10 RBI, 14 Stolen Bases.) Hit .379 at Muskington College. Good speed no bat, hit under .200.

Mark Mondi:(.139, 0HR, 2 RBI) LIU graduate. Played for the Redcoats in 1994. good glove, no bat released under .200.

John Bosch:(.203, 1HR, 12 RBI) Queens College graduate. Gets on base, walks alot, part time player. (released)

Bart Close:(.255, 7HR, 22 RBI) Richmond University graduate also played for Springfield. Swung a good bat, hit a few home runs.

Brian Jersey:(.271, 5HR, 26 RBI) Hit .349 at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996.

Dwayne Crawley:(.319, 0HR, 17 RBI)

Joe Gordon: (.265, 0HR, 10 RBI)


Pete Berrios: Spent 1996 with Southern Oregon in the Northwest League with the Oakland A's. Led the Redcoats to a 21-59 record setting all time Frontier League worst record. Resigned as manager back home in Detriot now.

Joe Ruzycki: Graduate of Western Michigan. quit with 20 games left in the season.

Burke Mc Kinney:Former Redcoat player and graduate assistant at East Tenn State.

Andy May: Assistant coach at St. Michaels College and associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. Director of Player Developement for the North Atlantic Baseball League in 1995. Resigned when the team was 10-22.

  • Steve Swisher: Former 1st Round Draft Pick by the Chicago White Sox 1973.Graduate of Ohio University. Spent nine year in the majors with the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres. Played in the 1976 All Star Game for the Cubs. Managed in the Midwest League (Iowa), Southern League (Binghamton) International League (Tidewater) American Association (New Orleans) and the New York Mets as the bull pen coach.


  • By Dave Poe (Parkersburg News May 23, 1997)
  • Two rode a Greyhound bus 24 hours to get here on time. Another took an 11p.m. flight from Los Angeles. Many drove their own cars or their parents. But somehow 65 college baseball players from all around the United States managed to make it to Bennet Stump Field Thursday morning as the Ohio Valley Redcoats began workouts for the 1997 season. They started hitting, throwing, catching and running at 9 a.m. and did not finish until 4 p.m. They'll be back at it today, Saturday and Sunday. By the end of Sunday's session, Ohio Valley Redcoats manager Pete Berrios should know the identity of the 24 players who will start the season in Redcoat uniforms. Berrios realizes that every player he has invited to camp has a dream of making the team. He relizes the majority of those here will have their dream shattered. It bothers him because he cares about people. But he also cares about the Redcoats and the community they represent. And he relizes its his job to put on the field the 24 best players available. Thursday's workout was a sight to behold. Well-organized. Professionally done. And you could n't help but be impressed with the talent Berrios has assembled. If Thursday is any indication, the 1997 version of the Redcoats will be by far the most talented grouop of players ever to wear an Ohio Valley uniform. The players were timed in the 60-yard dash. Pitchers were clocked on the radar gun. Hitters got more swings than they might see in a season of games. And fielders got enough ground balls to strut their stuff. At the end of the day, each player sat down with a memeber of the coaching staff for an evaluation. A few were sent home. Most will return this morning. Some of them were told they would have to elevate their game or else they would be leaving. "No one has made this team," Berrios said after the long exhausting day. But you could tell he was impressed with the talent he saw. " I am proud of what we did today," Berrios said. The players were adorned in dozens of different uniforms. Some wore shirts from big schools such as UCLA, Tulane and Viginia Tech. Others displayed jerseys from smaller schools such as Bellarmine, Kincaid Athletics, and Queens baseball. All were there for the same purpose-- to make the team. It was an intense session. And that intensity is bound to grow aw the weekend wears on. 65 players, 24 jobs. You can do the math. Berrios had alot of help Thursday. Parkersburg native and former Major League Baseball player and coach Steve Swisher evaluated players for Berrios before hoping on the tractor and preparing Bennet Stump Field for Thursday's night high school sectional championship game. Berrios praised the performance of Parkersburg South graduate Troy Nelson, an athletic trainer from Marshal University who willserve as the team's trainer this summer. Then there was his coaches, Joe Ruzycki and Andy May, as well as former Redcoat Burke McKinney. A Florida Marlin's scout lended his services. And Parkersburg's Larry Kave, the official team photographer and publicist, arrived before the players got there and didn't leave until they departed. In front office news, the Redcoats have purchased radio time from WLTP-AM,which broadcasts all games, both home and away. An Ohio University student will be handling the announcing duties this season. Berrios has spoke to nearly every civic group and school in the Mid-Ohio Valley. He's promised to bring an outstanding team to the valley. From what I saw Thursday, it is no doubt he going to be true to his word.
  • SWISHER STAYS IN BASEBALL by Will Lingo Baseball America Steve Swisher got to go home and keep a hand in the game he loves. This spring Swisher was the manager at Triple-A New Orleans, the top affiliate of the Astros. But just four games into the season, he stunned the team when he announced that he was resigning. Now he's back in baseball, with the Ohio Valley Redcoats in the Frontier League. The franchise announced that Swisher will be its new general manager. Swisher said he resigned from managing at New Orleans so he could return to his native Parkersburg, W.Va., to be closer to his 16-year-old son Nick. Nick lives in Parkersburg with his mother, Swisher's ex-wife. "Nick has made a lot of sacrifices for me," Swisher said. "Now it's my turn." Swisher also returned home to pursue a budding romance that culminated with another marriage in May. But he didn't have a job. He had appointed himself unofficial groundskeeper at the high school field where his son plays, to give himself something to occupy his time. But the Redcoats, who are based in Parkersburg, came through with an offer that combined the best of both worlds. And the timing couldn't have been better. "Only in America," Swisher said, "can a guy be driving a tractor one day and be running a professional baseball franchise the next." At the press conference announcing his hiring, Swisher showed off the three rings he wears. One is from his two sons, a Father's Day gift from two years ago. The second is the wedding ring from his wife Christy. The third is the ring he received when he played in the 1976 All-Star Game as a catcher for the Cubs. Swisher said now he would like to add a fourth, for a Frontier League championship. He said he'll do it by concentrating on the little things, as he has throughout his life. He recalled a story he once heard in which a speaker asked who had been bitten by an elephant. Then he asked who had been bitten by a mosquito. "You see," the speaker said, "it's the little things in life that get you." Swisher wholeheartedly believes that, as his whirlwind spring has shown: If you take care of the little things, big things can happen. "That's what I'm all about," he said. "I don't take this job lightly. I'm going to do everything I can to make the Ohio Valley Redcoats the best franchise in the Frontier League."
  • REDCOATS MAKE FINAL CUTS from Parkersburg Sentinel By Nick Scala
  • The Ohio Valley Redcoats' opening day roster was set this morning after first-year manager Pete Berrios made the finals cuts to the pitching staff. "We are starting with a puzzle, and now we've put all the pieces together," Berrios said. The redcoats will go with a 10-man pitching staff---eight righthanders and two lefties, including Greg gerland, who pitched for Ohio Valley last year. Also back from the 1996 mound staff is righthander Ryan Fox. The signature of this year's staff should be velocity. Assistant field manager Joe Ruzycki said eight of the ten pitchers top out on the radar gun in the high 80's. Headlining the staff are Brian Garsky and Chad Morris, both righthanders who pitched in the Montreal Expo's organization lst year in the New York-Penn League. The other lefthander on the staff, Stewart Hancock, also has prior professional experience after pitching with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. Rounding out the mound corps are five rookie righthanders-- Todd Anderson (from East Tennessee State University), Ray Sutton (West Virginia State College), Gary Morris (Western Michigan), Peter Saweczko (Toronto, Canada), and T.J. Blandford (Lousiville,KY). An 11th pitcher, Chris Broadway of Marietta GA,will remain with the team in a non-roster position while r recovering from bursitis in his pitching shoulder. the 6-4, 220 pound righthander, who reached 93 mph on the radar gun last week, will be re-evaluated after the injury is healed. "On paper, our pitching is strong, but we've got alot of young kids," Berrios said. "If they get rattled up a little bit, the older guys will have to pick them up." E.C. Krevonick, a lefthander wo pitched for Ohio Valley last year, was amoung the final pitchers released today. Earlier this week, Berrios announced the names of the 14 position players who will be with the club for friday's opener at Stump Field against Johnstown Steal. They are: Catchers Josh Herman and Frankie Colon; infielders Darrel Fatzinger, Jon Manuelian, Jeff Berman, Donny Burks, Charlie Feld, Todd Cunningham and Barry Shelton; and outfielders John Johnson, Mike Dansky, Ramon Davenport, John Bosch, and Brian Jersey. There is a chance Colon, a lefthander hitting catcher from New York City, will be selected in the major league amateur draft, which begins on Monday. Guarding against the possibilty, the Redcoats retained the rights to Brendan Connolly, who also is a lefthanded hitter out of New York. Releasing players is the least-favorite aspect of his job, Berrios said. It was made easier, though, when some players didn't live up to some others standards. "We're one big family here, and we are looking for commitment to the organization, whether it means signing autographs for the kids or just being out in the community," Berrios said. "If that doesn't mean anything to you, you don't belong here." Berrios said he's ready for battle in the Frontier League. "I'll tell you one thing, this team's got guts," he said. "Some teams may have more talent, but we won't be out-prepared, and we won't be out-hustled."
  • CROCODILES' RALLY COMES UP SHORT by Mike Popovich Repository News
  • The ninth-inning rally couldn't overcome more late-inning misery. Trailing 7-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, The Canton Crocodiles scored four runs and had the tying run on second base with Steve Mitrovitch at the plate. But Ohio Valley reliever Todd Anderson struck out Mitrovitch to end the comeback bid and the game. The Redcoats 7-6 victory over the Crocodiles Wednesday night at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium dropped Canton's record to 0-6 on the season. It was also the second straight night that the Redcoats scored in the alte innings to beat the Crocodiles. "It's great that the guys keep battling," Crocodiles manager Mike Burton said. "And they did a great job of battling tonight, trying to come back. " But the bottom line is wins and losses. And we are not getting anything in the win column." A crowd estimated at 450, down considerably from the 2,663 fans who showed up for Tuesday night's home opener, watched canton's Preston Aspeslet drive in a pair of runs in the ninth with a single and Danny Johnson and Brent Sachs each drive in a run with RBI doubles. Vetern left-hander Craig Scheffler gave the Crocodiles six strong innings. Canton's starters are still on a pitch counts and Scheffler was taken out of the game after throwing about 90 pitches. He gave up two runs and four hits in the six innings he worked. But after Scheffler left the game with the score tied at 2-2, walks,a critical bad hop and an error put Ohio Valley runners on base throughout the seventh and eight. The go-ahead runs scored in the seventh, when a ground ball by Donny Burks took a bad hop over the head of Sachs, the Crocodiles' shortstop. Mike Dansky and Todd Cunningham scored and the Redcoats led 4-2. But walks set up Burks's bad-hop single. Crocodiles reliever Jim Cingel issued all three of them to load the bases. "We need our starters to give us some good innings and we also need our relievers to come in and throw strikes," Burton said. "We're walking way too many people and giving them too many freebies. And when you do that, sooner or later, someone is going to hit a ball and it's going to find a hole." The Redcoats scored three more runs off Crocodiles reliever Chris Hill in the eight to go up 7-2. Alliance native Darrell Fatzinger, who hit a two-run home run earlier in the game, led off the eight with a walk. He advanced to third on an error and a single by John Bosch and scored on a wild pitch. A fielder's choice and a RBI single by Charles Feld plated Ohio Valley's other two runs in the eight. Johnson, the Crocodiles' leadoff hitter, had three hits and two more stolen bases to run his league-leading total in steals to five this season. The Crocodiles now have 13 stolen bases in the 13 attempts this season. Johnson singled to start the game and stole his first base with one out. Left fielder Jason Klam, who was signed by the Crocodiles prior to the start of the homestand, then lined a double into the gap in left center to score Johnson and give Canton a 1-0 lead. Fatzinger's two-run homer in the fourth gave the Redcoats a 2-1 lead. But the Crocodiles came back to tie the game in the fifth. Newcomer Danny Fernandez, a rookie first baseman the team signed Wednesday, led off the inning with a double and scored on a two-out double down the left field line by Sachs. Sachs also finished with three hits for the Crocodiles and a pair of RBI.
  • The only thing cooler than the Friday night at Bennet Stump Field was the Ohio Valley hitters as Johnstown held the Redcoats to 9 hits en route to an 8-4 season opening victory. "They came out and hit the ball and we didn't." veteran Redcoat Darrel Fatzinger said. Actually , Ohio Valley did manage to collect more hits than the Steal. but the Redcoat Eastern Division rival deposited three on the other side of the fence. Ohio Valley was held to seven singles and two doubles by a trio of Steal pitchers. "I think my young hitters were overmatched," Redcoats manager Pete Berrios. "But I was impressed with the defense no errors." Ohio valley and its starting pitcher Brian Garsky opened the game as if they might it an easy game of Johnstown. Garsky, a former Montreal Expo minor leaguer and played collegiately at Wright State, set Johnstown down in order in the first inning inducing two weak grounders to second baseman Jeff Berman and then striking out K.C. Crothers. Offensively, right fielder Ramon Davenport brought the throng of 1,642 fans to their feet with a leadoff double. The speedy outfielder advanced to third one pitch later as Berman singled to left. He scored the Redcoats first run of the season when first baseman Jon Manuelian lofted a high fly to left field for a sacrifice. Fatzinger then put runners on first and second with the first of his two hits on the night. Both he and Berman came around to score one out later when catcher Josh Herman tagged a pitch up the middle for a single. However, that was the extent of the Redcoats offense over the next seven innings. Johnstown's Kevin Gieras settled down to pitch two-hit ball over the next four frames. Brian Pashley and Brian Stensler came in to limit the Ohio Valley hitters to only three more hits and one more run. Trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the fifth, the Steal took the lead for good when third baseman Crothers followed two walks by Garsky with the first if his two home runs on the night over the right-field fence. The visitors added single runs in the sixth, seven and ninth innings. Two came on solo homers by Jason Dorsey and Crothers. Now 0-1. Ohio Valley will send another former Montreal Expo prospect, Chad Morris, to the mound tonight in search of its first win of the season.
  • ROOSTERS SHUT OUT BY REDCOATS By Jan Clark Matt Johnson holds the Roosters to three hits while pitching seven shutout innings while the Rooster falls 7-0 to the Redcoats. Manager Pete Berrios handed Johnson the ball and told him "son, we need a pick-me-up right now. We're are gonna ride you tonight. Show me something. "He kept the ball away from the hitters. He was in and out, up and down. he showed alot of guts and that's what this club needed to see. Johnson's biggest trouble came when the Roosters got a runner to third in the second inning and runners to second and third in the four but he worked out of both jams getting ground-ball outs in the second and a strikeout to end the fourth. "Some of the guys on our club gave me a little scouting report on a few of the Richmond's guy and it was accurate," said Johnson, a Pittsburg native who played college ball at South Carolina-Aiken. "Everybody told me Richmond was a good-hitting club and to go out and just do my thing." "We played great defense tonight, we hit the ball well, put some runs on the board and things worked out perfect. It feels good. It really feels good." Johnson kept Richmond's hitters off-balance with a solid fastball and a deceiving change-up. "I threw pretty good. I didn't have my best stuff, but it was good enough to get by," Johnson said. "Changing speeds is my game. If I can't change speeds and hit my spots, teams are gonna hit me." While Johnson cruised, Richmond's No.1 starter Jeff Montfort (1-1) sputtered. In 5 1/3 innings Montfort allowed 10 hits, seven earned runs, walked two and stuck out four. "I was leaving a lot of pitches up a littleand they were taking me opposite field alot," Montfort said. "I felt like the stuff I had today would be good enough. But after throwing and looking back, I can tell it wasn't my good stuff. My fastball wasn't quite there and I couldn't get consistent with my curveball. " I'm just going to wipe this clean and go get them next time." Ohio Valley pushed across a run in the top of the first. Ramon Davenport struck out, but reached on a wild pitch, stole second, took third on a sacrifice and scored on Jeff Berman's groundout. Ohio Valley's Charlie Feld cranked a two-run homer in the second to give the Redcoats a 3-0 lead. Ohio Valley took a 5-0 in the fifth on a home run by Alan Chase and a RBI single from Bart Close. Run-scoring singles from Todd Cunningham and Berman gave Ohio Valley a 7-0 lead in the sixth. Greg Gerland pitched the final two innings for Ohio Valley. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out two. Richmond's five hits left manager John Cate searching for answers. "Right now, we're a great 5 o'clock hitting team, which means we're a great batting practice team,"Cate said."But when the bell rings for game time, we go into a funk." Richmond is now 9-6 and a half game back of Kalamazoo and Springfield in the Western Divison standings. "This is a huge series. We can't continue to fall behind Kalamazoo and Springfield," Cate said. "Ohio Valley is a club that was 4-12 and had lost six in a row. As they come to the park today, they had more life, more spark and they were just into it more than this club that's fighting for first place like we are. That puzzles me. "You can't be a championship club unless you play well at home. We're 4-5 at home and it is beyond me as to why. We're a club that's very, very flat. Ohio Valley is seven games behind Chillicothe and Johnstown for first in the East. "We have a real young club," said Berrios, who, at 27, is the youngest manager in pro baseball. "I wanted to become a manager and I wanted to prove myself. I came to Ohio Valley, put my team together and the next thing I know we're4-12. I've never been 4-12 in my life. I didn't know what it felt like."
  • One of the things Pete Berrios wanted to instill in the Ohio Valley Redcoats organization is roster stability. When he was putting together this year's team, the first year manager hoped to avoid a repeat of last year's roster shuffling, when 38 players saw action. "The 24 guys we put out there on opening day, we hope, will be the same 24 we finish with," Berrios said last month. Well, so much for that plan. Just one --quarter of the way through the Frontier League's 80- game season, seven players in uniform June 6-- 29 percent of the opening day roster-- have been replaced. When the Redcoats return home to Stump Field to host Springfield Friday night, they will have the worst record (5-15) in the eight-team Frontier League and they'll have seven players who were not in uniform here on opening day. "We don't like the revolving door. It doesn't show stability," Berrios said wednesday in Richmond, Ind., before the Redcoats concluded their 1-3 road trip there with an abbreviated 10-1 loss to the Roosters. "But the intentions of this organizations were to start and finish with the guys we had on day one. "For whatever reasons, things did not work out for cetain players. Hopefully, the changes will make us better." And more changes are likely. With a league-worst team earned run average of over 7.00, Berrios is still looking for pitching. "We're gonna bring in some guys to look at while we're in Parkersburg," Berrios said. Pitching was believed to be the team's strong suit going into the season, but the four righthanders in Ohio Valley's starting rotation at the start of the season are all gone.
  • Brian Garsky went down with an injury, although Berrios hopes he'll be able to rejoin the staff;
  • Chad Morris--who was leading the league in strikeouts (25 in 19 innings)-- left the club to take a job at a hospital in his homwtown in South Carolina.
  • Ray Sutton was released after losing all three of his starts;
  • And Pete Saweczko had to head back home to Toronto after it was learned that he didn't have a proper work visa from his native Canada.
  • Also gone are two-thirds of the opening day starting outfield, Johnny Johnson and Mike Dansky as well as backup catcher Frank Colon. Those three were released, as was Alex Inclan, the Moundsville native who was brought in as replacement but played in just one game. The new faces have shown some promise. They are:
  • Starting pitcher Matt Johnson, a 6-0 185 pounder righthander from South Carolina, who pitched seven shutout innings in Sunday's 7-0 win in Richmond. Johnson, who allowed just three hits and struck out six. is scheduled to start Friday's game against Springfield.
  • Reliever Scott Beach (6-3, 185 righthander from Kansas), who has allowed just three runs in four appearances (2.70 ERA) covering 10 innings;
  • Starter Matt Palisin (6-3, 195 righthander from Pennsylvania), who has pitched in parts of three prior Frontier League seasons. Palisin who has filed one of the rotation vacancies, is 0-2 5.40 in three starts.
  • E.C. Krevonick (5-11, 185 lefthander) was one of the final preseason cuts and was activated during the Richmond trip, allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings in Monday's loss. Krevonick pitched in six games for the Redcoats last year, going 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA.
  • Bart Close (5-11, 190 from Pennsylvania) debuted at designated hitter Monday with a three-hit game at Richmond after being released this season by Springfield;
  • Allen Chase (5-9, 175 from Texas) homered in his fiirst game as a Redcoat. A versatile infielder/outfielder, Chase was hitting .286 in 14 at bats going into Wednesday game at Springfield;
  • Brendan Connelly (6-2, 210 from New York) has been with the club since day one, but was not actvated until Colon was released. Connelly, a lefthanded hitter, is batting .200 (2-10). They're new faces who hope to take Ohio Valley to better places. The good news for the Redcoats is the Frontier League plays a split-season format, so they'll have a fresh start after the first 40 games are completed. "I've got my eye on the second 40," Berrios said. "I'm just as fired up as I was four months ago." [
  • Evansville's Otters tarnished their recent surge on Wednesday night by reverting to problems they suffered earlier in the season. They slapped out seven hits but could not get them in productive situations, and wound up leaving 12 runners on base. Ohio Valley, on the other hand, had only four hits but manufactured a half-dozen runs to fashion a 6-3 win in Frontier League action before 1,406 fans at Bosse Field. The Otters hardly resembled the team that had won four of its previous five games, including three of four from East Division power Chillicothe last week. Their offense, defense and pitching stalled. "We couldn't get the big hit, something that haunted us early in the year and haunted us tonight," manager Greg Tager t said. "We couldn't get it, even with two outs late in the game." Otters starter Mike Rodgers, who beating Chillicothe last week, wasn't in form. "Not as sharp as the Chillicothe start and in most of his starts," Tagert said. "Mike's going to be a little inconsistent with his fast ball and with his location. We thought he could get through it tonight, but they got the double on the 3-and-2 pitch and that kind of knocked him out of the game." That double by Bart Close in the fifth inning drove in two runs. After Rob Murphy replaced Rodgers (1-3), John Bosch's sacrifice fly brought in another run and the Redcoats had a 6-1 lead. Barry Shelton also had a two-run home run in the fourth for Ohio Valley. After Ohio Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Otters tried to rally. Ryan Brownlee drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a groundout and then raced for home on Terry Beyna's single to left field. Brownlee was thrown out at the plate on a bang-bang play. "It was a big lift for them when they threw out Brownlee on Beyna's base hit," said Tagert.The Otters tied the score in the third on Brownlee's two-out walk, a stolen base and Matt Cano's single. Cano opened the sixth by walking, Beyna singled and Shane Davenport walked to finish Redcoats starter Sean Economon (1-0). Scott Tittrington relieved and got Larry Platz to ground into a double play, with Cano scoring. Rob Perry reached on an error and Beyna scored. But Tittrington got Pat Pethel to fly out. Evansville threatened in the ninth when Bernard Caston singled. He was erased on a fielder's choice grounder by Brownlee, but Cano singled. After Beyna grounded out, Davenport walked to load the bases. Larry Platz grounded into a forceout at third base to end the game.
  • REDCOATS ROLL TO 11-5 WIN JULY 7, 1997 by Rob Cornelius Parkersburg News
  • Every position player reached base, and those 21 baserunners led to scores in six consecutive innings, pushing the Ohio Valley Redcoats to an 11-5 win over the visiting Chillicothe Paints on Sunday night at Bennet Stump Field. The Redcoats capitalized on four home runs and 10 walks to notch their second home win of the campaign. Bullpen stalwart T.J. Blandford emerge from the pen to start and pitched 5 1/3 sterling innings, allowing only a pair of runs while striking out five. In his longest outing of the season, Blandford staked his claim to a more permanenet role in the starting rotation. "I was looking to go about five innings,: said the former Bellarmine College star, who had only given up one run before allowing a solo home run to Patrick Anderson in the fifth. "It was kind of upsetting to give up the home run, but my pitch count was up around 90. Blandford gave way to lefty reliever Scott Tittrington, who put a pair of runners to load the bases, before forcing former Ohio University star outfielder Jason Graham to hit into an inning-ending double play. Ohio Valley's Charlie Feld knocked down Graham's drive at third, touched his base for a force out and zinged a throw to Darrel Fatzinger at first to catch Graham. The vetern slugger Fatzinger saw the win as a total team effort." He (Blandford) pitched a whale of a game. He just came in and took control," said Fatzinger, who hit the first of the Redcoats four home runs, a three-run episode in the third. As for his teammates, the former Marietta College star attributes much of the success over the last week to the fact the team is starting to gel. " When things start to stabilizing on the roster, guys don't have to play worried." " It's tough for some of the young guys, just out of college, to come and work at baseball for eight hours a day, like a job," said assistant coach Andy May. "But now they're starting to get used to it." Tittrington got in some trouble early in the ninth, giving up three runs. But the lefty, tired after his frequent appearances of the past week, is glad to be getting the work. "It;s become clear that I'm going to be the long (relief) guy," said Tittrington. "I'm just thriiled to be here.I've already pitched more innings than I have all year (at Bringham Young)." "Now our starters know that if they can go six solid innings, that we can keep it up for them." As the Redcoats pitching held fast against the usually potent Paints attack, the Ohio Valley bats made sure the game was never in much doubt. Fatzinger's home run in the third gave the home team a 3-1 margin. The Redcoats manufactured a run in the fourth on a leadoff walk to Brian Jersey and an RBI single from Donny Burks, and scored another pair when Fatzinger drew a full count walk and trotted home after Barry Shelton delivered a home run from his newly found home in the clean-up spot. Ohio Valley chased Chillicothe starter Chris Murphy with a pair of solo shots to open the sixth, from Bart Close and Feld, to lead 9-2 and put things far out of reach. The Paints visit City park again tonight, scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. date with the Redcoats. Ohio valley projected starting pitcher is Shawn Economon, who is 1-0 in his only appearance for the club.
  • REDCOATS WIN 2ND STRAIGHT By Rob Cornelius Parkersburg News Led by a pair of home runs from Darrel Fatzinger, the Ohio Valley Redcoats grabbed a second consecutive home win and manhandled the Eastern Divison leading Chillicothe Paints 10-4 Monday night at Bennet Stump Field. For the second night, Redcoats hitters answered the call with four home runs, with the double-digit attack exploding in the eight inning. Tied at 4-4, Ohio Valley slammed Paints reliever Joe Montgomery for six runs in the span, on seven hits and a very costly fielding error by Montgomery himself."It was just that I felt really confident at the plate tonight," said Fatzinger, whose second home run scored Jeff Berman as well as ice the triumphant eight. After taking advantage of the short confines of Bennet Stump Field three times in two games, the first baseman said the team may have turned a corner. "It's (the field) seemed to be playing against us all year. But now the confidence inthese guys seems to be growing." Every Redcoat batter reached base including John Bosch, who touched them all after his two-RBI pinch hit in the eight, his first professional home run. "We're a good hitting ballclub," said Bosch, whose clutch hitting has made him an asset at the designated hitter or left field slot. "Others teams have gotten the breaks all year and now it's time we get the breaks." Bosch's opposite field shot over the right field fence, was not unexpected. ""I've been doing alot of extra hitting with the guy," said assistant coach Andy May. "And we knew if he (Bosch) ever got a hold of one,it'd go about 900 feet." Ohio Valley had fallen behind, 4-1 after five frames, as Chillicothe chipped away at starter Shawn Economon for four runs, three earned, over his 4 1/3 innings pitched. But in the sixth, the Redcoats got back into the game against starter Bert White and reliever Vince Lawson. Fatzinger led off the inning with a double, and moved over on a ground out by Barry Shelton. Then, catcher Bart Close ejected a White pitch from the field for a two-run home run and a 4-3 margin. Filling in for the injured Josh Herman (who saw action at DH), Close has had home runs in consecutive nights and has been a wall behind the plate. Though he has played mostly first base and outfield in his college and professional careers, Close has been comfortable behind the plate these past two nights. After Close's four-bagger, a Josh Herman- single followed by a Brian Jersey-double tied the game at 4-4, until the outburst of the eight inning. Stewart Hancock pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Economon, before giving way to closer Todd Anderson, who tightened his grip on that job with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and earned his second win on the year. Following the win, manager Pete Berrios was encouraged, but put the so-far successful homestand in more perspective. It's just baseball, you know how fast things can turn on you," said Berrios. "We have two seasons and to do well, we have to comtinue to step forward." The Next cog in the solidifying Redcoats pitching rotation is Ryan Fox. He'll go tonight against Chillicothe in a 7:05 start at Bennet Stump Field.
  • Canton Crocodiles Game Notes (07/09/97) July 9, 1997
  • PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- The Canton Crocodiles scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull out an 8-6 win over the Ohio Valley Redcoats in Frontier League action Wednesday night. Canton held a 6-3 lead behind starter Eric Shultz going into the seventh inning, but reliever Danny Crawford gave up a three-run home run to Bart Close to tie the game at six. Singles by Brent Sachs and Jason Klam delivered the runs for Canton in the ninth to seal the win. Steve Mitrovitch hit his eighth home run of the season in the fourth inning and was 4-for-5 at the plate, while Garrett Larkin hammered his first homer of the year, a two-run shot, in the sixth. Larkin, Sachs and Matt Bryant each had two hits for Canton, who improved to 14-19 on the season. Ohio Valley dropped to 10-23.
  • July 10, 1997 PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- The Canton Crocodiles hammered out a team-record 20 hits and rode an eight-run second inning to a 15-6 victory over the Ohio Valley Redcoats in Frontier League action Thursday night. Jason Klam had a three-run home run in the second, and Garrett Larkin and Keith English later homered for the Crocodiles as well. Preston Aspeslet was 5-for-5 at the plate for Canton, while Brent Sachs was 3-for-6 and Larkin and Danny Fernandez each had two hits for the Crocodiles. Craig Scheffler (2-4) went six innings for the win, allowing just one run on four hits. Larry Burkindine (1-4) took the loss for the Redcoats. Canton improved to 15-19, while Ohio Valley dropped to 10-24. The two teams play game three of the series Friday
  • Ohio Valley's Brian Jersey drove in three runs and Dwayne Crawley drove in two more as the Redcoats - who have the Frontier League's worst record - beat Evansville 10-4 Saturday night in the opener of a four-game series. "The (seven-hour trip Saturday morning) and the last three games may have taken its toll a little bit late in the game," Otters manager Greg Tagert said. Rain in Parkersburg prevented the Otters from taking batting practice for the third consecutive day. The Otters (15-6 in the second half) had won 10 of their last 11 games and 18 of their last 23. They jumped to a 3-0 lead and took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on Mike Kass' solo homer. But Ohio Valley scored four runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to pull away for the victory. Otters starter Shawn Tipton (0-2) allowed eight hits and four earned runs in six innings and took the loss. "Shawn got off to a good start, but we weren't able to shut them down after we scored, which is something we've been able to do with our pitchers," Tagert said. Ohio Valley is 7-14 in the second half and in last place in the East Division, seven games behind first-place Canton.
  • Otters erupt to set record with 20 runs Cano homers, knocks in five runs in blowout
  • PARKERSBURG, W. Va. - The Evansville Otters got back on the winning track with a record-setting performance. The Otters scored eight times in the top of the first inning and went on to set a team-record for runs in a 20-5 victory over the Ohio Valley Redcoats on Sunday night. The previous record was 15, which the Otters accomplished three times. They lost 10-4 to Ohio Valley on Saturday. "Their pitching was a little wild at the beginning and we were patient," Evansville manager Greg Tagert said. "That's the good thing about about having (Bernard) Caston, (Matt) Cano and (Terry) Beyna at the top of the order. They will be patient and make the pitcher work." Cano went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and five runs batted in. Eric Joseph, who was playing his first game after returning from a hip flexor injury, went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs. David Robinson scored five runs and added a solo homer. Jason Imrisek was 4-for-6 with two RBIs. The Otters did all this without Shane Davenport, their leader in home runs and RBIs. He was given most of the night off before catching the last two innings. Davenport usually plays first base, but also is the team's third catcher. The Otters (16-6 in the second half) remained five games ahead of Springfield in the Frontier League's West Division race. The Capitals beat Johnstown, 7-6. Sunday also was the deadline for Frontier League teams to make roster changes before the end of the season. The Otters activated Joseph and infielder/outfielder Rich Luna, who was out with a wrist injury. To make room for those two, they released second baseman Scott Dapprich and pitcher Rich Estep. Dapprich joined the Otters just last week and hit .250 (2-for-8) with one RBI. Estep has been with the team all season. He pitched in 16 games, starting one, and compiled a 1-0 record with a 5.96 ERA. "That was the toughest move of all," Tagert said. "He's contributed all year, especially in middle relief. But if we get to the post-season, the need for another position player is more pressing than a 12th pitcher."
  • Mike Zerbe's two-out double capped a dramatic three-run ninth inning for Kalamazoo and propelled the Kodiaks to a 6-5 come-from-behind Frontier League victory over Ohio Valley at Sutherland Field Sunday, sending 753 fans into a frenzy. The Kodiaks (5-10) will try to make it three wins in four games in the series with Ohio Valley (4-11) tonight at 7:05. Trailing 5-3, Don DeDonatis led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single against Redcoat closer Todd Anderson, then stole second (his league high 38th) and advanced to third on a bunt single by Mike Wisely. With one out, Anderson was called for a balk, which moved Wisely to second and allowed DeDonatis to score, making it 5-4. The next batter, John Sullivan, walked, setting up Ryan Sienko's game tying single that scored Wisely. Sienko had three RBIs in the game. Zerbe then blasted a high fly ball to deep center field just out of the reach of Ohio Valley's Joe Gordon to score Sullivan with the game-winner. "I just wanted a chance to hit," Zerbe said. "I felt it was hit well, but then it went up so high and I thought: Oh God, don't let him run under it. "It was a huge confidence builder and hopefully we can get back in this thing." The Kodiaks appeared to be headed for another loss, falling behind 5-0 after three innings, thanks to the Redcoats four-run third inning. Trailing 1-0 in the third, Kalamazoo starter Jason Robinson appeared to strike out leadoff man Todd Cunningham, who swung at a pitch in the dirt. Instead of a strike out, the umpire ruled it a foul tip and Cunningham was given a second life. Cunningham made good on it two pitches later, smashing a home run to make it 2-0 Redcoats. "The ball bounced in front of the plate and hit my shin guard," Kalamazoo catcher Sienko said. Robinson and the rest of the Kodiaks were shaken by the event as Robinson gave up three more runs on four hits and a couple of defensive miscues making it 5-0 Ohio Valley. Robinson recovered, however, keeping his team in the game by dominating the Redcoats for the next six innings. At one point he mowed down 17 of 18 batters, allowing only one hit, a double by Brian Jersey, who was gunned down at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple. "The kid could have come apart on us, but he didn't," Kalamazoo manager John Pacella said. "He went out and threw six shutout innings, shut them down and gave us a chance." Redcoats starter Carlos Simmons had the Kodiaks reeling the first three innings, but Sienko's two-run double to the gap in left-center got the Kodiaks on the board making it 5-2 Redcoats.
  • Canton Crocodiles Game Notes (08/14/97)
  • CANTON, Ohio - The Canton Crocodiles conclude a remarkable 10-game homestand by defeating the Ohio Valley Redcoats, 5-2, before 2,050 fans at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium Thursday night. The Crocodiles won their eighth straight game and ended the home stand with nine victories in 10 games. They remain in first place in the Eastern Division with 14 games left in the season. Canton started the scoring early when Steve Mitrovitch drove in two runs with a triple in the second inning. Ohio Valley tied the game, however, with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Redcoats starter Ryan Fox (2-7) settled down and retired 13 straight batters through the end of the seventh. However, the Crocodiles combined four singles, a sacrifice fly and a double steal to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth and make a winner of starter Cliff Foster, who improved to 4-0 on the season. Chris Hill pitched the ninth to earn his sixth save for the Crocodiles. Canton improved to 19-7 in the second half and 39-27 overall. Ohio Valley dropped to 8-18 and 18-48 overall.
  • PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - Ryan Brownlee's pop fly single in the top of the 12th inning drove in Eric Joseph from third base with what proved to be the winning run as the Evansville Otters beat the Ohio Valley Redcoats, 8-7. But a Brownlee wild throw on what would have been the game's final out almost blew it in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the inning, Joseph and Shane Davenport both singled with one out. After Jason Imrisek struck out, Brownlee popped a single into short right-center field for his 19th run batted in of the season. That loaded the bases. But Bernard Caston then grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the 12th, with Todd Niemeier replacing Greg Scheer on the mound, the Otters got the first two outs. Then, on a routine grounder, Brownlee threw wild to first base, allowing the runner to reach second. Next, with Jason Moore at the plate and rain starting to fall, Dave Pollak replaced Niemeier. But Pollak tossed a wild pitch, sending the runner to third. Then he walked Moore. But the game ended with the next batter as Joe Gordon flew out to right field. Scheer got the win for the Otters, who lowered their magic number for clinching the Frontier League's Western Division title to 13