Capahas kick off summer baseball season Friday evening

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The local summer baseball season is just about upon us, which means, among other things, that Jess Bolen will soon begin adding plenty of wins to his staggering record as the Plaza Tire Capahas manager.

Bolen will lead the Capahas into what figures to be another successful campaign when they play their opener Friday night.

The Capahas, the area's highest-level summer baseball team that features primarily college players, kick off their 41st season under the legendary Bolen with a home game against Valmeyer, Ill.

Last year the Capahas went 24-11 and made their 25th consecutive appearance in the prestigious National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.

The Capahas had a solid showing in Wichita, going 3-2 and tying for 13th place.

Bolen's career record with the Capahas is an amazing 1,277-333. I've got to think he stands a good chance of cracking the 1,300-victory mark before the summer ends.

One of the highlights of the season will again be the NBC Mid-South Regional July 13 through 15 in Cape Girardeau. The Capahas have captured two straight regional championships.

Capahas baseball is great summer entertainment, and with no admission charge, you sure can't beat the price.

See you at the ballpark.


The Southeast Missouri State baseball team started the Ohio Valley Conference tournament strong with a win over Murray State but ended it with a thud after Friday's 5-1 loss to Samford.

Southeast was outscored 20-3 and out-hit 29-11 in its final two tournament games, including Thursday's 15-2 rout at the hands of Jacksonville State.

So the Redhawks finish the year 32-24, including a third-place showing among 10 squads during the OVC's regular season.

It wasn't a great season, but it was solid, and certainly a step in the right direction after last year's struggles that saw Southeast post its worst overall and conference records in 13 mostly successful seasons under coach Mark Hogan.

The Redhawks lose some very good seniors, but will return a nice nucleus of players.

The key for Hogan will be to add more impact players, particularly on offense as the Redhawks' hitting really took a dive over the final several weeks of the season.

It will be interesting to see if Southeast can build on this year and perhaps finish in the OVC's top two in the 2008 regular season, which would mean a first-round conference tournament bye and offer the most realistic chance of winning the tourney.


I ran into Southeast men's basketball coach Scott Edgar on campus recently and he was giving a tour to a young man who just might end up filling one of the Redhawks' two open assistant coaching positions.

Rodney Hamilton has been an assistant the past three years at Crichton College, an NAIA program in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

Hamilton served as associate head coach for a Crichton team that went 28-8 and lost in the NAIA national quarterfinals this past season.

Hamilton, who has also been a high school coach in Memphis, was a four-year starter at Georgia State, where he finished as the program's all-time leader in scoring and assists. He was also the first player in Georgia State history to have his jersey retired.

Hamilton played professionally in Sweden, Switzerland and Hungary.

Edgar, while not telling me that Hamilton for certain had the job, seemed to be fairly enamored with the young man. When Edgar coached at Murray State, he recruited Hamilton as a high school player in Memphis.

Edgar failed to land Hamilton the first time around. We'll see whether he gets him this time.


Big-time congratulations to Saxony Lutheran senior Brandon Etzold for his brilliant performance at last weekend's Class 1 state track meet.

Etzold wrapped up an incredible high school athletic career with four more state titles, winning the 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter races, while also leading the Crusaders' 1,600 relay team to first place.

Etzold also captured two individual state championships as a junior, along with participating on two relay squads that claimed gold.

Also kudos to all the other local athletes who either captured titles or finished high in state track meets the past two weekends.


The coaching staff of the Gateway Grizzlies independent baseball team has a distinctly Southeast flavor.

Phil Warren is in his first season as manager, while Darin Kinsolving is in his first season as a coach. Both were star players at Southeast from 1997 through 2000.

Warren spent last year as the Grizzlies' director of player personnel after being one of their top players the previous three seasons.

Kinsolving has kicked around various independent leagues since leaving Southeast.

Another Southeast product, Chris Gibson, is a rookie outfielder with the Gateway team. He completed his eligibility at Southeast last year.

The Grizzlies, located in Sauget, Ill., near St. Louis, recently opened their Frontier League season.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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