Article by Jonathan McAllister | Owl Staff
The Harford Fighting Owls baseball team, coached by Tom Eller, is back in action after their best season in school history. Last year, the Owls posted an impressive record of 44-13, losing only two games at home. Unfortunately, the season ended early with a loss in regionals.
Although the Owls lost in the regionals, falling short of a season goal of making it to the JUCO World Series, they did not fall short of success. Not only did they put up the best season in school history, but they also had an All-American, James Wilson, and sent eight athletes on to four-year schools including four Division I schools. Corey Taylor, Dom Vattuone, and Christian Wolfe went to UNC Greensboro, and Jamie Pashuck went to the University of Maryland.
This year, the Owls return 11 players from last year’s squad, while bringing in an impressive recruiting class. The recruiting class includes many freshman out of high school, along with players transferring from four-year schools and other junior colleges.
Coaches and players are excited about the 2012 season with good reason. As the Fall season comes to an end, the Owls are proud to speak of their record which is much better than the two games that they won last Fall. This successful Fall has players and coaches talking about a more impressive season than the 44-win season of a year ago.
The team seems to be a close group of young men all determined to reach one goal. What is that goal? That goal is a JUCO World Series appearance and a championship. Prior to taking the field during each game, hands are put together and a chant of “one goal” is belted out of every member of the Owls baseball team. Along with the talented recruiting class of players comes a new tradition and a new pitching coach, “Ant” as the players call him. This new tradition took place on Halloween, during which the players dressed up in their costumes for the last official practice of the Fall season. This new tradition seems like it will last at Harford for a while to come.
The team as a whole is anxious to see how this season plays out. Infielder Anthony Ortiz says, “We were good last year, but I think that this team can do bigger and better things.”
Newcomer Dennis Mitchel shares, “I have a good feeling about this team and this year; big things are bound to happen.” Follow this team, as it should be a special year.