By Cody Shook, Contributing Writer
The baseball season is underway, and for six seniors their collegiate careers are coming to an end. Anthony Bond, Chris Secore, Clay Francis, DJ Busby, Jordan Meyer and Mark Smyth are looking to win 33 or more regular season games to become the winningest team in a four year stretch in school history. If they win 33 games they will tie the school record for wins in a season.
These seniors have made it to the conference tournament every year they’ve played here on the hilltop, but this year they have bigger goals than simply making the tournament. Before the season they made a goal to win the conference tournament and make it to the regional tournament for the first time in their careers.
Anthony Bond is a pitcher from New Haven, West Virginia. Bond is a key part of the team’s success coming out of the bullpen with shut down innings. He said “my most memorable moment was getting back on the mound for the first time after having Tommy John surgery” and he also mentioned that “I’ll miss the brotherhood we have up here because we truly are a family.”
Chris Secore is a pitcher from Gahanna, Ohio. Secore was a starting pitcher his freshmen and sophomore year and now he comes out of the bullpen giving the team quality innings late in the game. He said, “I will always remember getting my first win my freshmen year against Glenville State.”
Clay Francis is a catcher from Belmont, Ohio where he attended Martins Ferry High School. Francis is off to a hot start in his senior season with four hits in his three starts. He said that the thing he will miss the most after this year will be, “playing the great sport of baseball because when this season is over, I think I’m going to hang up the cleats and call it a career.”
DJ Busby is a shortstop from St. Clairsville, Ohio. Busby has 17 hits in the first 11 games of the season and a countless amount of impeccable plays in the field. He has also been on the 1st-Team All-Conference team two years in a row and is currently looking for his third consecutive year of being on the 1st-Team All-Conference team. Busby also holds the West Liberty record for singles in a single season with 51. He said, “my most memorable moment was my first collegiate homerun.”
Jordan Meyer has been a starting outfielder since the day he walked onto the West Liberty campus. He made his presence known early with his powerful swing and strong arm throwing out baserunners. Meyer is from Toronto, Ohio where he graduated from Steubenville Big Red. He said that his most memorable moment was, “hitting a go ahead homerun against West Virginia Wesleyan.”
Mark Smyth is a four year starting pitcher for the Hilltoppers from Bloomingdale, Ohio and he graduated from Edison High School. Smyth was a 1st-Team All-Conference pitcher in 2015 and looks to duplicate that honor in his final season. He has three wins in his first three starts of the 2016 season.
He said, “I will always remember pitching a complete game and getting the win against Seton Hill my freshmen year.” He also said, “I’m going to miss the road trips with my best friends because when you’re 50 years old, you’re not going to remember a hit or a strikeout, you’re going to remember talking with your teammates on a four hour road trip.”
These six seniors are truly a class act and will be missed greatly in the seasons to come. They provided leadership on and off the field with a great work ethic and they became great role models for everybody. Their presence next year will truly be missed, but they know this season is far from over and they are going to do everything they can to make their dream of becoming conference champions come true.
To follow the baseball team throughout their season, follow them on twitter for live updates on games and schedule changes.