By John Bombatch
XENIA — Four members of the 2016 Xenia Scouts baseball team and their manager will participate in tonight’s Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League All-Star Game, at Prasco Park in Mason.
Catcher Evan McDonald, outfielder Jeremy Barth, starting pitcher Jorge Lozano and reliever Matthew Wade were each named to the GLSCL’s South Division team.
McDonald is a sophomore from Circleville who attends Fairleigh Dickinson University. He’s batting .260 (33 for 127) and is among the team leaders in hits (33), doubles (13) and RBI (21).
Barth hails from Southern California and lists La Mirada, Calif. as his hometown. The 6-foot-4 senior attends Biola University. Barth has 35 hits (35 for 138 for a .254 batting average), 11 doubles and 20 RBI.
Lozano lists Spring Lake, Mich. as his hometown. The right-handed pitcher is a red-shirt freshman for the nearby Wright State University Raiders. Lozano has a 2.43 earned run average in seven starts and 42.2 innings of work. He has recorded 28 strikeouts thus far this season.
And Wade has been solid as the Scouts’ closer. In 20.1 innings pitched, the Southeast Missouri State righty from Cordova, Tenn. has struckout 16 batters while walking only three. Wade leads the team in saves with three and has an ERA of 1.32.
“I’m really happy and proud of them. It’s always a neat thing to get guys involved in an all-star game,” second-year Xenia Scouts manager Bubba Cates said. “They get to be around the best players in the league for a day, and there’s always some attention given to them from the Major League scouts. That’s the neat part of what we do.”
The All Stars and a group of prospective players from the league — possibly including Xenia’s Adrian Marquez and other Scouts players — will go through a series of drills for several Major League Baseball scouts who will be on hand. The scouting combine begins at 12:30 p.m. today. The All-Star Game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.
Cates will share South All Stars coaching duties with Hamilton Joes skipper Darrell Grissom. The two teams are tied atop the South Division standings at the All-Star break with identical 24-13 records. After the All-Star Break, Xenia returns to play on Thursday against Grissom’s Joes, at Hamilton’s Foundation Field. The two teams then play a game against each other at 7:05 p.m. Friday on Xenia’s Grady’s Field.
“Who made the schedule out? They did a nice job of saving a big series for the end,” Cates said. “I always wondered how the schedule makers could work it out that the Green Bay Packers would end up facing the Chicago Bears for all the marbles late in a football season like they did. That same guy must’ve set up our schedule over here. It’ll be a big series between two good ball teams. That’s what you want.”
John Bombatch can’t hit the curve ball. He can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.