Jackets to play 10 games in 5 days to start season

As the Waynesburg University baseball team prepares for its 2019 season, head coach Mike Humiston has high expectations for the team.

“Our expectation for this year is to be in the top four teams in our conference which will put us in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Tournament,” said Humiston. “We have a numerous [amount] of seniors that will be instrumental to our success.”

The PAC recently released the annual preseason coaches’ poll. The Yellow Jackets are projected to finish sixth out of the nine PAC schools.

Last season, the Yellow Jackets finished ninth out of 10 teams in the conference. Humiston looks at the poll as motivation for the Yellow Jackets.

“The PAC coaches’ poll doesn’t mean a lot for our team,” said Humiston. “Being picked to finish sixth in the conference is motivation for all us.”

One of the top returning athletes on the team is senior infielder Tyler Reis.

Last season, Reis led the team with a batting average of .342 in 111 at bats. The senior also led the team in on-base-percentage and homeruns with a .463 average and seven, respectively.

Reis is expecting great things from the team this year and that will come from the team chemistry.

“I expect great things from the team this year,” said Reis. “We have a lot of young new talent that helped our overall team chemistry.”

Reis also mentioned that some of the new athletes are adapting to new positions that they are not used to but believes they will handle it well.

“Many of the new players are practicing at new positions they are not used to,” said Reis. “But we are talented enough to make the adjustments and perform well when the time comes.”

The Yellow Jackets will open its season in Winter Haven, Florida to play in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.

Humiston hopes that the early season tournament will be a turning point for the Yellow Jackets. “Our thoughts are to win more than we lose,” said Humiston. “Once our players hate losing more than they like winning, it will be a turning point for our program.”

For Reis, he is excited to get the season started and see what the team can do.

“I’m excited for Florida and excited to see how the guys will play together,” said Reis. “We have the talent and have what it takes to compete.”

Reis is one of the top players on the team and contributes his success to his training.

“I have done everything in my power to give me as much as an advantage over my competitors when I step up to the plate,” said Reis. “I’ve showed great progress over the years and I know I have more room to grow.”

Other key performers returning for Yellow Jackets are seniors Tyler Godwin and Mitch Nordstrom as well as junior Justin Buberl.

As the season progresses, Humiston wants the team to continually improve.

“I want the team to continue to get better at every practice and game,” said Humiston. “I want every coach and player to be able to look into the mirror and say I left everything on the field, if we do that the wins will come.”

The Yellow Jackets are hopeful to have a better season than the previous year.

The season will start March 3 in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational when they face Penn State Altoona.