While the start of Bell County’s 2013 baseball season has been delayed due to rain and wet field conditions, the Bobcats are anxious to take the field for new coach Scott Chaney.
Chaney played varsity baseball at Bell County from 1993-97, he also played baseball at Eastern Kentucky University before finishing his college career playing football at Union College. He was an assistant coach for the Bobcats under Tommy Greer in the early 2000s and has also helped coach the Bell Middle School football team.
“It means a lot (to be coaching at his alma mater). I’ve been involved in high school baseball for a long time and it’s been something that I’ve wanted to do,” he said. “The opportunity came and I had several people to ask me to do it. I took the job and now I regret not taking it a long time ago.”
The Bobcats are coming off an 8-26 season, but since they fielded a team of mostly freshmen just about everybody is back.
“They’ve got some experience and from watching them a little bit last year I think they’ve got talent. They’ve just not had the discipline and are lacking a little bit of baseball knowledge,” Chaney said. “We’ve tried to incorporated discipline first during the preseason and as things have progressed we’ve met that and it seems like we’re getting better each day.”
Sophomores Dylan Cox and Austin North will share time at third base with Evan Brock and Caleb Smith at shortstop depending on who is pitching. Jackson Lefevers, the team’s only senior, will man second while Jacob Rose and Zach Turner share time at first base. Freshman Aaron Jenkins is the catcher after finishing last season as the starter there.
Chaney said the outfield spots are still up for grabs.
“We’ve got five or six kids were looking at in the outfield: Shawn Ausmus, Jeremiah Partin, Scotty Fields, Evan Brock or Devon Miller may be out there. Nothing’s really set in stone yet,” he said.
Cox headlines the pitching staff with Brock, North and Smith the other leading returners in innings.
“We’ve got six or seven pitchers, it just depends on who is throwing strikes that day as far as who gets to pitch,” Chaney added.
Another former Bobcat player Clay Carroll is an assistant coach, working primarily with the pitchers and infielders.
“He’s just a blessing to have. I asked him to help me before I asked anybody else,” Chaney said. “He’s a big help to these kids.”
“Fish” Mills is also back with the team.
“He’s kind of our equipment manager and an inspiration to the kids,” Chaney said. “He knows a lot about baseball and he’s going to help us out any way he can.”
The Bobcats will try and get their first game in this evening as they travel to North Laurel in make up of Monday’s scheduled opener.
Chaney said the team, which will start seven sophomores, one senior and one freshman most days, is starting the season with modest goals.
“Last year they just won few games and I’ve just challenged them to set the goal at double-digit wins and whatever happens from there happens,” Chaney said.
Bell County’s home opener is now scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Lynn Camp.