In the mood for some great American baseball this summer? Galionites need not travel far, because the Galion Graders will return for their second season in June.
“We were so grateful for the community support during our first year. People came out to our games and allowed players to stay in their homes, and local businesses provided monetary donations and meals for the team. We are proud to have another great roster this season,” Graders General Manager Mike O’Leary said.
The Graders’ inaugural season last year was a hit with spectators and players alike. Through a partnership with Galion Youth Baseball, Inc., Galion High School’s baseball field at Heise Park became home to the Graders. It received numerous upgrades to accommodate college-level play and was christened James D. Heddleston Field.
The team ended the 2015 season with a 16-22 record, and centerfielder Nick Riotto received a First Team All-League Award, with a batting average of .385 (third best in the league), that gave the Graders 25 runs and 14 RBIs.
Thirty-six players have committed to this year’s line-up. Returning players include pitcher Brody Basilone of Mansfield, outfielder Colton Carney of Brecksville, and short-stop/second baseman Kevin Schrock of Millersburg.
This year’s team will feature several other players from the area: Austin Adams of Crestline, Xavier Harris of Mount Gilead, Evan Lee of Lexington, Justin Lewis of Shelby, and Dalton Stambaugh of Fredericktown. The program has also attracted players from New York, California, and even one from Ontario, Canada.
Host families are requested for the out-of-town players. Residents who are interested in providing a room for a player should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Graders’ first game of the 2016 season is June 3 at home, against the Lorain Ironmen. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. They are scheduled to play a total of 43 regular season games through July.
For more information or to view the full game schedule, visit www.greatlakesleague.com.
The Galion Graders are part of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, which consists of 12 teams from three states. This season the GLSCL added two teams: the Richmond Jazz of Richmond, Indiana, and the Irish Hills Leprechauns of Adrian, Michigan. Other teams returning this year include the Cincinnati Steam, Hamilton Joes and Lima Locos.
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