Tim DeCant (Lake) returns this spring as a sophomore outfielder for the Owens Community College baseball team.
In 2009, he was named the recipient of the team’s Coaches Award. Additionally, DeCant was the team leader with 11 doubles, five triples and 31 stolen bases and compiled a .379 batting average.
Last Wednesday, DeCant was 3-for-3 with a home run and RBI as the Express defeated the visiting Bowling Green State University club team 12-6. Owens swept the BGSU team, winning the first game 12-2 and is now 16-6 on the season.
Also playing for the Express is sophomore outfielder Michael Romano (Clay).
Waite graduate Bob Schultz begins his eighth year as coach. In the past seven years, he has guided the Express to five conference championships in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to his position as head coach, Schultz served as an Express assistant for five years. His assistants are Gabe Medina and Tom DeMarco.
The Owens men’s baseball program finished the 2009 season with a 34-10 overall record and captured its eighth Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (11-4 record) title in the program’s history. The conference championship is the fifth in the last six years. Owens Express men’s baseball, which was ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA Division II poll, lost to Lakeland CC in the NJCAA Sub-Region XII Championships.
Early in the season, Owens compiled a 9-3 record following games played in South Carolina and a pair of victories against Glen Oaks CC.
“I am very optimistic about this year’s team,” stated Schultz. “We have 13 veteran returners from last year’s championship ballclub and some extremely talented first-year student-athletes. In order to be successful and compete for another conference title, we are going to need a total team effort. Our expectations remain very high and we anticipate playing a significant role in who wins the conference championship.”
The Express has a total of 13 players returning from last year’s championship team, including Joe Engle (Sidney) and Jared Gibbons (West Carrollton).
In 2009, Engle, a sophomore infielder, was a First Team OCCAC All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region XII selection. His accomplishments also included being named OCCAC Player of the Year and the team’s Most Valuable Player, among other honors. Engle led the team with 62 hits, 53 RBIs and a .477 batting average. Engle was 4-for-4 with a double and four RBI in the second win over the BGSU club team last week.
Gibbons, a sophomore infielder, earned First Team OCCAC All-Conference and OCCAC Academic All-Conference honors and was named the recipient of the team’s Most Improved Player award. He collected 49 hits, 31 RBIs and 11 stolen bases and compiled a .445 batting average. Gibbons went 3-for-3 with a double, RBI, and stolen base in the first win over the BGSU club team.
Schultz’s squad also returns Eric Vaughan (Delta). Vaughan, a sophomore pitcher, was a First Team OCCAC All-Conference selection and earned the team’s Outstanding Pitching Award. He compiled a 5-1 record and a 1.83 earned run average and registered 40 strikeouts.
Other returning sophomores to the Owens team are pitcher Kevin Dorsten (Huber Heights Wayne); pitcher Neal Linthicum (Perrysburg); catcher Joe Maurer (Start); infielder Ben Fox (Huber Heights Wayne); outfielder Bryan Daniel (Dayton Northmont); pitcher Ross Joost (Sherwood Fairview); infielder Josh Newman (Dayton Northmont); and pitcher Joel Gattoni of Thornhill, Canada, pitcher (Langstaff Secondary School).
Joost (2-0) got the decision on the mound in the first victory over the BGSU club team Wednesday, and Schmenk the winner in the nightcap. In the first game, Schmenk went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and three RBI.
First-year players are outfielder Blake Schmenk (Perrysburg); outfielder Nate Davis outfield (Bedford, Mich.); infielder Jesse Solomon (Huber Heights Wayne); pitcher Eric Stuart (Mantua Crestwood); pitcher Derrick Garcia (Perrysburg); infielder Matt Hayes (Pickerington North); catcher/pitcher Garrett Busch (Start); infielder Austin Gunn (Delta); pitcher Ryan West (Dayton Northmont); infielder Devin East (Anthony Wayne); pitcher Chris Rice (Gabriel Richard Catholic, Mich.); and catcher Matt Joseph (Sylvania Southview).