Chattanooga State Launches Another Baseball Season Saturday Under Greg Dennis With High Hopes

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chattanooga State’s baseball team opens its 2013 season on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Covington, Ga., to take on Georgia Perimeter College at 1 p.m.

This season will mark Head Coach Greg Dennis’ 10th year at the helm of the Tigers. Currently he sports a 354–168 overall record at the school and a 702–570 mark for his JUCO career coaching.

“It seems like just yesterday I was arriving here and going to work building the type of program I felt would be most reflective of the college and the community in general,” said Coach Dennis.

“That first year or two was really difficult as we turned the culture around here, but with the hard work of countless players that bought in to our philosophy here and the support of the administration and campus community, we made it happen and have become a very respected program in this region and nationally.”

Chattanooga State has been nationally ranked 5 of the past 6 years and been as high as #1 nationally (2007) and #2 nationally (2011) as well as making the program's first trip ever to Grand Junction, CO for the JUCO World Series ( 2010 ).

“It has been a great run so far and we are excited about the prospects for this season and the work that lies ahead,” said Dennis.

The 2013 team is built like most of Dennis’ previous teams have been around speed and athleticism with a mixture of good solid pitching and defense added in. With a number of returning players and some really solid additions arriving, this team has the chance to put up another “notch” on the Tiger’s baseball belt, he said.

Offensively, the team should be led by 3 sophomores that should shoulder the brunt of the work. Jordan McDonald ( .343, 2, 43) is a returning shortstop from Australia that will be a middle of the order hitter. Aaron Wright and Casey Mannion are both transfers that should surround McDonald in the middle of the order. “All three of these guys are phenomenal hitters and should give us a very potent middle of the order if they hit like they are capable of hitting,” said Dennis. Others who should factor in to the offense include sophomore transfer Marquis Webb, returnees Tyler Garner and Zach Lance, and freshmen Read Walden, Shelden Brogden and Austin Swayze.

On the mound the Tigers return a number of guys that threw quality innings last year and should carry a huge part of the load this spring. Colton Kinnamon, Tyler McClure, Alex Ridge, Carson Bryant and Brooks Taylor threw considerable innings last year, while Mark Harris red-shirted last year and threw a good number of innings in 2011. “This gives us a great core of guys that have experience at this level and hopefully will be ready to challenge hitters and put us in position to win games,” said Dennis of his staff. Kinnamon ( 4-0, 3.41, 25 ) and McClure ( 4-3, 3.63, 45 ) started a number of conference games last year, while Ridge ( 7-3, 3.72, 52 ) and Bryant ( 6-0, 1,79, 47 ) were consistent weekday starters with quality innings. Tyler Troutt and Adam Weldon are freshmen pitchers that should contend for quality innings this spring with Troutt being a guy that could be a conference starter with his solid left-handed stuff, the coach said.

All in all it looks like the Tigers have the making of another great season and, with the continued hard work and determination shown by Coach Dennis and his staff, as well as, the players in the program, there is no reason to expect anything less.

“We just want to invite everyone out to watch some games at our ball park and enjoy the renovations and additions out here as well as follow us on Facebook and our website during this spring,” said Dennis, “We are excited about these guys and where their season is going to go as well as our program and the direction it is taking.”


Szmidt Starts Red Hot In Heights' Rare Home Game

Talk about starting out a game with red-hot shooting. Hamilton Heights’ Therren Shelton-Szmidt was on target early, hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers in the first quarter and leading the Hawks to a 72-57 victory over Central Park on Friday night. Szmidt’s opening barrage helped the Hawks take a 29-8 advantage after one quarter of action. They were up 49-20 at halftime. Playing ... (click for more)

Covenant Women Win 78-62 At Wesleyan

The Covenant women's basketball team used a season-best shooting performance to knock off USA South foe Wesleyan, 78-62, on Friday night at Porter Gymnasium. Covenant (7-8, 1-4 USA South) shot 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the field in the victory that snapped a four-game losing streak. It marked the second time this year that the Scots have shot at least 56 percent from the ... (click for more)

2 People Shot And Killed On 12th Street After 1 Car Chases Another; 1 Vehicle Crashes Near Willow Street

Two people were shot and killed in the 2100 block of E. 12th Street on Friday night in an incident in which one vehicle was chasing another. One of the vehicles crashed, landing on another car near Willow Street. Two people in the car that wrecked were dead when officers arrived. Police said the incident happened around 8:15 p.m. Police are looking for suspects in the ... (click for more)

School Board Approves 4-Year Contract Extension With Independent Bus Drivers, Who Say They Can Handle 100 Routes; Extension Given On Custodial Contract

The county school board on Thursday night extended the contract by four years of school bus owner operators, who said they could deliver on 100 bus routes. The board delayed until a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School the issue of whether to accept the offer of 100 contract routes. That would be handled by many of the current 49 owner operators taking ... (click for more)

Bakewell Mountain Community Thanks Commissioner Fairbanks

The residents of Bakewell Mountain want to formally thank Commissioner Randy Fairbanks for standing up for our community in protecting our property rights and families. He personally made several trips to our properties and homes to see how the proposed gun range would affect our daily lives with noise, traffic, and a decrease in property values. Sometimes the little guys need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)