Bob Ross Classic set for Saturday


When it comes to being a head coach in the Bob Ross Classic, Fairmont High School baseball coach Kent Drake has a simple philosophy.

“We tell the players they all have skills we don’t know about,” said Drake, who coach the Blue team. “Go out there and showcase what you can do.”

Forty-six of the top incoming seniors have been divided into two teams — Red and Blue — for the 14th annual game, which is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Fifth Third Field, the home of the Dayton Dragons. Admission is free and the gates will open at 6 p.m.

“This is a big summer for them, the summer between their junior and senior year,” said Middletown and Red team coach Rick Blyberg. “This is a great opportunity for the kids to play on a minor league field in front of their family, friends and college coaches. It is a cool environment.”

College coaches, and fans, will have a lot of talent to watch.

Blyberg’s Red squad will be led by Greenville second baseman Connor Nealeigh and Butler pitcher Jacob Larger. Nealeigh led the Greater Western Ohio Conference with a .620 average while Larger was 6-2 with a 1.83 ERA.

Tri County North’s Hunter Gleadell and Carlisle’s Josh Tarter lead Drake’s blue team. Gleadell, a pitcher and first baseman, hit .460 with six home runs and 27 RBIs while Tarter allowed just two runs in 21.2 innings (0.65 ERA).

Following batting practice, the Dragons will host a Little League clinic on the field beginning at 5:30. The high school players and coaches will conduct the clinic.

“It is a great experience for the kids,” Drake said. “For some, it is their first opportunity to give back. They have been blessed with skills and now they have the opportunity to give back to younger players. Who knows, there may be some future players in the game at the clinic.”

Because of the game rules, Blyberg and Drake will both be staring across the field at a player from their own team. Andrew Burton of Middletown will play for Drake and Fairmont’s Andrew Honious will be on Blyberg’s squad.

While each head coach wants to see their player do well, Drake said that might change in the ninth inning.

“You want to see them do well, but don’t fool yourself,” he said. “If he comes up in the ninth inning, I am going to give my pitcher every clue I can to get him out. You don’t want that (a loss) over your head for a whole year.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Gennett getting more regular playing time
Gennett getting more regular playing time

Scooter Gennett T-shirts are hard to miss in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse these days. Billy Hamilton wore a “Scooter-ific” shirt on Friday. In a short time, mostly thanks to his four-home run game in June, Gennett has become one of the most popular Reds. Gennett’s performance has translated into increased playing time. He started...
Former Flyer Brian Roberts to play in Europe
Former Flyer Brian Roberts to play in Europe

Former Dayton Flyers guard Brian Roberts will play in Greece next season, according to multiple reports. Roberts, 31, will play with Olympiacos B.C. in Piraeaus, Greece. That’s just southwest of the capital, Athens. This will be the first time Roberts has played in Europe since 2012, when he helped lead Brose Basket Bamberg to its third straight...
Football hype starts Monday with Big Ten Media Days
Football hype starts Monday with Big Ten Media Days

The Ohio State Buckeyes start practice for the 2017 bright and early Thursday morning at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. They get underway at 6:30 a.m. and will practice again Friday before taking the weekend off. Before the work begins, the talking starts. Big Ten Media Days take place Monday and Tuesday at the McCormick Place Convention Center...
Stephenson gets another chance in Reds rotation
Stephenson gets another chance in Reds rotation

Robert Stephenson looked like a big-league pitcher to Cincinati Reds manager Bryan Price in May. The 2011 first-round pick at last seemed to be making progress toward living up to his potential. Six days later, on May 30, the Reds optioned Stephenson to Triple-A Louisville. That move followed a two-inning relief appearance in which he allowed...
Fan reaction: suspension of Bengals’ Adam Jones not a shock; where there’s smoke, there’s often fire 
Fan reaction: suspension of Bengals’ Adam Jones not a shock; where there’s smoke, there’s often fire 

It probably shouldn’t be considered a surprise that Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was suspended by the NFL for one game Friday for his behavior in a January incident in Cincinnati involving the police, but the reaction of fans might rank as shocking. Given Jones’ track record in a nine-year professional career...
More Stories