Owls Looking Forward to 2011
The Oregon Tech baseball squad captured their second straight NAIA West Southern Division title and advanced to the championship game of the NAIA West Region Tournament. The Owls led the region in walks and stolen bases (second consecutive year) while defensively leading in total chances, putouts and double plays. New team records were set in base hits, total bases, homeruns and walks.
2B Ryson Mauricio - The NAIA Second Team All-American leaves after setting single season records in total bases (148), doubles (21), hits (85), runs (53), RBI (69), homeruns (14)
1B Cory Spires - Spires graduated after playing 3 seasons with the Owls and posting career marks of 24 doubles and 13 homeruns
P Frank Charlton – Charlton leaves after 2 seasons that included (9) wins and (89) strikeouts
Oregon Tech shortstop Zack Earle. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
As the Owls baseball team finishes out the fall ball season, they look forward to a 2011 season which includes added incentive with a guaranteed number #1 seeding as host of the regional tournament for the Southern Division winner. 2011 team has six returning starters and will only need to replace starters on the right side of the infield. The pitching staff is the deepest and most talented group this coaching staff has fielded during their tenure.
Kyle Conner (.281 / 0 / 14) and Kyle Hansen (.271 / 0 / 11) return for their senior years and will again share the backstop duties. Redshirt freshman Nick Jernberg will compete with newcomers Jimmy Wicklund (FR, Hawaii) and Keenan Shigematsu (FR, Hawaii) for time behind the plate as well.
Shea Bedortha will pitch and play first base. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
Senior Wade Elliott (.327 / 1 / 2) and sophomore Kealii Ribao (.212 / 0 / 4) are looking to win the starting job vacated by the graduation of Cory Spires. Adding depth will be Matt Bellando and Shea Bedortha.
Senior Colin Stock (.370 / 7 / 46) moves from third to second base to fill the whole left by All-American Ryson Mauricio's graduation. Stock led the Owls offense in AVG (.370), OBP (.490), hits (74,) TB (113), and BB (38) as well as being in the top-5 in the region in each of those same categories. Redshirt junior Tommy Wood will be a solid back-up in his first year on the Owls active roster.
Colin Stock moves from third base to second in 2011. (photo by Kelly Caleb).
Junior Zack Earle (.293 / 8 / 32) will begin his third season at shortstop where he has played all 115 games the last 2 seasons. Zack brings a combination of speed (32 stolen bases) and power (17 homeruns) to add to his great range and arm the last two seasons. Earle was voted First Team All-Region as a freshman. He also is a top reliever.
Junior Brad Walters (Mt Hood CC) looks to step into the starting role at 3b as well as being a key hitter in the middle of the order. His addition should solidify the Owls' infield. Adding depth will be Cody Evans (FR, Yelm, WA) and Mike Mastroianni (JR, Klamath Falls).
Junior outfielder Kory Locken earned a Gold Glove Award in 2010. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
Returning starters; Trent Smith (SR, Medford, OR) and Kory Locken (JR, Phoenix, OR) will again provide great range in leftfield and centerfield respectively. Trent (.297 / 2 / 30) enters his senior year in reach of the all-time career base hits and runs scored records at Oregon Tech, and has been a perennial base running threat (37 career stolen bases and his 15 in 2009 was second only to Locken's 16 in the region). Locken (.317 / 1 / 22) has been the stolen base leader in the region in both of his first two years at Tech with 31 in 2009 and 16 in 2010. The 47 career steals is already a record at Oregon Tech, as he continues to make huge strides offensively. Kory was also a gold glove outfielder for the Owls in 2010.
In rightfield, both Phil Sacks (SO, Reno, NV) and Hayden Wolfe (SO, Medford, OR) shared playing time during their freshman season. Sacks (.311 / 1 / 11) played well down the stretch in 2010, getting consistent at bats after an injury sidelined Wolfe (.250 / 0 / 5 / 8 SB). Both are solid outfielders with Sacks having extra pop at the plate while Wolfe supplies more speed and patience at the plate. Both figure heavily into the plans for the 2011 season.
Newcomer Jared Nelson (JR, Klamath Falls) is a great defensive outfielder with a solid arm and quickness. There will be many opportunities for Jared to showcase his talents in 2011.
Neil Emerson looks to return after an injury sidelined the 2009 Newcomer of the Year last season. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
Neil Emerson (SO, Phoenix, OR) returns after an injury shortened 2011 season in which he was granted a medical redshirt. His freshman year, Emerson won six games and recorded a 3.01 ERA with 59 strikeouts. That season he was voted Newcomer of the Year in the Cascade Conference. Emerson looks to return to the top of the rotation in 2011.
Matt Bellando (7 wins / 4.31 / 58K) ended the 2010 season as the Owls ace and looks to improve on those numbers for his senior season. Bellando will also see time at both first base and designated hitter.
Matt Belando will play both first base and pitch for the Owls in 2011. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
Shea Bedortha (SR, Medford, OR) had a very successful 2010 season (5-2 / 4.65 / 40 K) which was highlighted by a 6-1 win over 13th
ranked College of Idaho in the semifinals of the NAIA Regional Tournament. Shea will be a key part of the starting rotation in 2011.
Dylan Bedortha (JR), Shea's younger brother, is another key returnee on the mound (3 wins / 36 K) and has made steady progress over his first two years of his Owls' career. His success will be key to the team’s success in 2011.
Senior relievers Daryl Swearingen and Zach O'Hanen will again pitch many innings out of the bullpen. Swearingen (3-2 / 5.31 / 35 K) was the Owls top lefthander and back end of the bullpen type pitcher last season, and should stay in that role. O'Hanen (4.46 / 16 K) was the most durable reliever in 2010 being able to throw multiple times over a series and expectations are higher for him in 2011.
Daryl Swearingen will see most his work out of the bullpen. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
Junior college recruits for the 2011 season include Mike Mastroianni (Shasta CC), Aaron Jorgensen (Siskiyous) and Matt Boytz (Chemeketa CC). All three will see significant time on the mound this season.
Incoming freshman pitchers Taylor Bars (Hidden Valley HS) and Craig Kathol (Crater HS) both will figure into the 2011 plans. Both young pitchers show tremendous upside and the ability to keep hitters off balance and get outs.
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