The Clark State Eagles will take the field for the men’s baseball season home opener at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 12 against Cincinnati University - Clermont. Clark State joined the National Junior College Athletic Association and is scheduled for 48 regular season games. “Joining the NJCAA will open many doors for us as a baseball program as well as opening doors for my players and their future,” said Head Coach Cliff Foght.
Foght and assistant coaches Steve Escoffier and John Young are recruiting players nationwide and even some outside of the United States. “We are rebuilding the entire program,” Foght said. “We are looking for student athletes that want to be a part of something great and to move on to the next level as a player.”
Four players have signed a National Letter of Intent for Clark State’s 2016 baseball season and several additional players are expected to sign. Talent grants and financial assistance are available to those who qualify and are registered full-time.
Foght said he expects the Eagles to be competitive this season, and his goal is to help each player to grow on the field and in the classroom. Center fielder Kory Downing has returned for his second season with the Eagles. He maintains a 3.0 grade point average as an accounting major and is set to graduate in May. He encourages student athletes to consider playing for a community college. “Clark State is a lot closer to home,” said Downing who is from London, Ohio. “And you never know who is looking at that school. It could be Division I or II school.” Downing plans to attend a four-year college following graduation and would like to continue playing baseball.
The Eagles baseball team held a Hit-A-Thon last November raising close to $4,000 to purchase new uniforms, and they enjoy supporting other Clark State athletic teams, too. “We support our basketball team by having themed games, like a beach party,” said Foght. “We dress up in beach wear to support them.”
The Clark State Eagles home field is located on Lagonda Avenue in Springfield. The season comes to a close on April 28 against Ohio University - Lancaster. Admission is free for Clark State students, faculty and staff with a valid college ID.
2015 Eagles Baseball Team Roster
Derrick Coffey, pitcher, Bishop Fenwick High School, Miamisburg
Rusty Cole, pitcher, Wilmington High School, Wilmington
Kory Downing, outfield, London High School, London
Chase Farris, second base, Tecumseh High School, New Carlisle
Reid Ferrell, pitcher, Newton High School, Pleasant Hill
Collin Graham, shortstop, Xenia High School, Xenia
Matt Horner, third base, Catholic Central High School, Springfield
Lance Kielbaso, catcher/outfield, Stebbins High School, Stebbins
Dalan Koogler, catcher/outfield, Tecumseh High School, Donnelsville
Andrew McNeal, pitcher, Graham High School, Saint Paris
Caleb Myers, pitcher, Radford High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Grant Meranus, catcher, Indian Hills High School, Indian Hills
Markus Neff, first base, Oakwood High School, Oakwood
Sanjay Smith, utility, Springfield High School, Springfield
Drew Ulleman, utility, East Knox High School, Mount Vernon