The 2015 Season will be Head Coach Aaron Biddle's fifth season in charge of the Bearcats. The Bearcats will be coming off a 2014 season that saw them win a school record 35 games before dropping the first two games at the conference tournament. Coach Biddle said, "Last year was a lot of fun, but at the end of the day we came up short in the tournament. The guys that are here from last year remember what that felt like and we've been working to avoid that feeling every day."
The Bearcats have lost six seniors off of last year's club including NAIA 2nd Team All-American Catcher Hank Stewart and KIAC Pitcher of the Year Andrew Shoulders. Despite the losses the Bearcats return 26 players from last year and have added 14 newcomers to the 40 man roster. The roster consists of nine seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and nineteen freshman.
On the mound the Bearcats will be led by Seniors Michael McIntosh, Zach Sciaccotta, Ryan Lutz, Christian McHatton and Matt Gunderson. McIntosh set a career record for saves in 2014, but will be counted on to jump into the rotation for the Bearcats this year. Sciaccotta and McHatton were both 2nd Team All-Conference Starting Pitchers for the Bearcats last year. Other returners being counted on include Junior lefthanders Caleb McIntire and Chad Cox. Sophomore Evan Dyer will play a role out of the bullpen for the Bearcats while Redshirt Freshman Phoenix Cox, Cesar Soto and Kegan Graves will join transfer Junior Bryce Wilz and Freshman Riley Brown and JJ Poole to round out the staff. "We have a great mix of youth and experience on this staff. The upper classman have been successful in the past and the newcomers are all guys that have the stuff to compete at this level," says Biddle.
Offensively, the Bearcats will be led by Senior All-Conference Performers in Outfielder Daniel Lokesak and Infielder Christian McHatton. Lokesak led last year's club in Stolen Bases (25), while finishing second in Batting Average (.362), Hits (67), Base on Balls (26) and On-Base Percentage (.441). McHatton finished second in Doubles (14), Homeruns (4), RBI's (56) and Slugging Percentage (.542). Other Returners include Senior Catcher Blake Smith and Outfielders Logan Rascoe and Zach Capps, Junior Catcher Aaron King and Sophomore Infielders, Logan Hopple, Josh Wetzel and Blane Thomas. Redshirt Freshman Catcher Shawn Callis, Infielder Reed Rounder and Outfielder Anthony Kennedy along with Transfers JaQuan Jones and Justin Cessna and Freshman Outfielder TJ Smith round out the roster. "This has the chance to be the best defensive team I've ever had," said Biddle. "Offensively, we're young but talented. This will be a fun group to watch develop."
The Bearcats will open the 2015 season on February 13th at The University of the Cumberlands with a four game series. The Bearcats Home Opener will be on February 21st against Holy Cross College. The 2015 KIAC schedule begins on March 20th when the Bearcats travel to Alice Lloyd and will include road series against #22 Point Park University and IU-Southeast. Home conference series will include new KIAC member Rio Grande University and Asbury University. Non-Conference opponents include Lindsey Wilson College, Campbellsville University and the University of Northwestern Ohio, who all received votes in the NAIA Pre-Season poll. Also, on the schedule is Martin Methodist University, Bethel University (TN), Concordia University-Ann Arbor, Lourdes Univesity, Oakland City University, St. Catharine College, and UC-Clermont.