BY JIM MISUNAS
The Great Bend Bat Cats will feature an updated roster for the 2023 NBC Baseball World Series adding nine players who didn’t start the summer.
A projected starting lineup of 2B JoJo Nieves (.226), 3B/RF Jackson Webster (.261, 14R, 18 RBI); C/DH Grant Nottlemann (.286, 10R)/Marshall Hale (.302, 11R), CF Robby Bolin (.347, 33R, 33 RBI) and LF Isaiah Ural (.438) must add shortstop Jaron Cotton (Leader, Texas) and two starters to the batting lineup.
Great Bend (27-11) will have played two games in the past 18 days.
"We're excited to be back on a baseball field," said Bat Cats coach Jonathan Mariani. "We've got some good work in. We've picked up players we've seen in our league. Our style works well. They'll go out and play baseball."
Starter Kyle Winkler (5-1, 2.46 ERA). Chayse Gruber (4-0, 1.21 ERA) and Tyrus Riley (3-1, 3.86 ERA) and reliever Kevin Schoneboom (4 saves, 1.04 ERA) headline the pitching staff.
"We've got confidence we can play with anybody no matter who's out there," he said.
Fourteen Bat Cats who played during the summer won’t attend the NBC World Series.
The biggest absence is El Paso’s Armani Raygoza, the Jayhawk League Home Run champion who batted .381 and led Great Bend with seven homers and 42 RBIs. Six missing pitchers compiled a 9-3 record, led by Australian Brett Allen (4-2) and Matthew Howell (2-0).
Great Bend general manager Roger Ward has generally added a few players for the NBC World Series to bolster the Bat Cats roster.
"I'm always taking notes during the season watching players who might not make postseason," Ward said. "It's a challenge because some of these players getting calls from several teams recruiting them. You make a lot of call and texts. You want guys who want to play in the NBC Tournament and help your team win."
A trip to Hutchinson proved successful when Ward secured a few players from the Derby Twins.
"I was able to meet players face-to-face and that changes everything," he said. "You never like to see guys fall off the team, but that's the nature of summer baseball. We'll put a good product on the field. There's lots of things to like with these guys."
Others missing the NBC World Series will be DH Jake Tatom (.327), RP Hunter Jones, C/OF Jace Wentling, 2B Connor Chavez (.329), RP/OF Nolan Bushko, RP David Stuart, 3B/SS Matthew Mendez (.252), RP George Austin, RP Zach Curry, RP, RP/OF Nick Parton, RP/IF Brady Wilson, SS Jace Woita (.282).
2023 BAT CATS NBC ROSTER
2—JoJo Nieves, 2B/OF, Junction City
3—Tyler Cowan, IF, Phoenix, Paradise Valley CC
6—Anthony Treto, RP, Brighton Colo. Barton CC
7—Jayden Hill, OF, Dallas, Arkansas State
8—Grant Nottlemann, C/RF, Lincoln, Neb. Barton
11—Robby Bolin, CF, Topeka, Barton
13—Brady Kreutzer, OF, Hays, Fort Hays
14—Kevin Schoneboom, RP, Arlington, Texas, NE Texas
16—Baron Lynch, RP, Wichita, Neosho
17—Kade Snodgrass, IF, Derby, Neosho
19—Ian Lanik, RP, Eagle, Neb. Emporia State
20—Marshall Hale, C, Cypress, Texas, Sam Houston
21—Kyle Winkler, LP, Tomball, Texas, Sam Houston
22—Jaron Cotton, SS, Leader, Texas, Barton
23—Jake Wellington, RP, Clearwater, Neosho
25—Jackson Webster, 3B/OF, Birmingham, Ala.
26—Isaiah Ural, LF, Albuquerque, Barton
27—Chayse Gruber, RP, Great Bend, Neosho
28—Paco Hernandez, LP, Great Bend, Barton
29—Payton Tinkler, R, Wichita, McNeese State
31—Coleson Syring, RP, Derby, Neosho
33—Tanner Vaughn, RP, Elma, Wash. Cowley
34—Bryan Bartels, RP, Olathe, Barton
35—Tyrus Riley, RP, Bentonville, Ark. Barton
PAST BAT CATS
1—Hunter Jones, RP, Topeka, Barton
3—Jace Wentling, C/OF, Hays, Neosho
4—Connor Chavez, 2B, Lantana, Texas,
7—Nolan Bushko, RP/OF, Haslet, Texas, NE Texas
12—David Stuart, RP, Lawrence, Barton
15—Jake Tatom, SS, Kingwood, Texas, Sam Houston
16—Matthew Mendez, 3B/SS, Del Rio, Texas, Rio Grande
17—Armani Raygoza, 1B, El Paso, Rio Grande
18—George Austin, RP, Dallas, NE Texas
22—Matthew Howell, LP, Huntsville, Texas, NE Texas
23—Zach Curry, RP, Ottawa, Pittsburg State
30—Nick Parton, RP/OF, Victoria, Australia, Barton
31—Brady Wilson, RP/IF, Sacramento, Calif.
32—Jace Woita, IF, Lincoln, Neb. KCK
33—Brett Allen, RP, Newcastle, Australia, Barton
2023 BAT CATS (27-11, 21-7 Sunflower)
JUNE x-non league—L—x-Kingman, 9-10 (L Allen 0-1); WW—Haysville, 4-1; 13-2 (W Winkler 1-0; W Gruber 1-0); W—Haysville, 11-4 (W Allen 1-1); W—Hutchinson, 8-7 (W Hernandez 1-0); L—Hutchinson, 8-9 (L Schoneboom 0-1); W—Hutchinson, 6-0 (W Winkler 2-0); W—Newton, 5-2 (W Treto 1-0); W—Newton, 9-6 (W Austin 1-0); L—Derby, 3-10 (L Allen 1-2); W—Derby, 7-4 (W Bushko 1-0); W—Derby, 15-2 (W Tinkler 1-0); W—Kingman Islanders, 14-3 (W Winkler 3-0); W—Kingman, 5-4 (W Riley 1-0); W—Kingman Islanders, 7-4 (W Jones 1-0); W—Kansas Cannons, 12-4 (W Gruber 2-0); W—Kansas Cannons, 13-4 (W Riley 2-0); L—Kansas Cannons, 4-7 (L Bartles 0-1); W—Newton, 5-1 (W Winkler 4-0); W—x-Dodge City, 7-3 (W Treto 2-0); W—x-Liberal 5-3 (W Allen 2-2); L—x-Liberal 2-5 (L Hernandez 1-1); W—x-Colorado, 15-8 (W Riley 2-0); L—x-Colorado, 2-5 (L Tinkler 1-1); W—x-Colorado, 5-3 (W Howell 1-0)
JULY—W—x-Dodge City, 10-5 (W Riley 3-0); L—Haysville, 5-7 (L Winkler 4-1); W—Haysville, 3-2 (W Gruber 3-0); W—Haysville, 12-3 (W Allen 3-2); L—Hutchinson, 5-10 (L Riley 3-1); L—Hutchinson, 2-9 (L Treto 2-1); W—Hutchinson, 10-9 (W Wilson 1-0); W—Newton, 13-7 (W Winkler 5-1); W—Newton, 6-3 (W Gruber 4-0); W—Derby, 6-3 (W Howell 2-0); L—Derby, 5-10 (L Treto 2-2); W—x-Liberal 6-3, (W Allen 4-2); L—x-Liberal, 10-18 (L Stuart 0-1)