Three summers ago, Wilmington College baseball players Tyler McDaniel and Kyle Short wanted a way to continue developing their skills in the summer. Between the minds of the two Edgewood High School graduates, the Mudcats were born.
Those same Mudcats, now filled with a roster of current and former Fightin' Quakers, took home a pair of Cincinnati Recreation Commission adult league championships this summer.
"Any time you can play together, and help build a championship mentality, it's a benefit for our program," said Wilmington head coach Dan Cleaver. "I would like to extend congratulations to our current roster players and our former players for their Championship season."
The Mudcats finished the summer 15-1, and on a 13-game winning streak. They were 7-1 in the Thursday night league and an undefeated 8-0 in the Sunday night league.
Current players – Jake Hyatt, Gage Bley, Alec Robinette, Shane Hale, Daniel Hayes, Keith Hayes, Kasey Bottorff, Lance Fleischman and Nick Silvis – join McDaniel and Short on the championship roster. Wilmington alums, Clay Cleaver, Roenick Whitney, Alec Hutzelman and Corey Walker, join the group in the wooden bat league.
"We use it to get reps and to see live pitching," said McDaniel. "A lot of guys lover summer ball. We have as much fun as possible out there while getting our reps in. We have a lot to take into the fall, and hopefully we can carry it into the season."
Wilmington will have a group of seniors that has experienced improved success throughout their college careers, and now heading into their final collegiate season, they want to use the championship experience to enhance the Wilmington College baseball program.
They also acknowledge that building a winning collegiate culture isn't something that can happen overnight.
"It's more about confidence," said junior Daniel Hayes. "We want to take that same attitude to our school season; have confidence in our teammates to get the job done. It's comes down to bringing the same energy, and put it into action when the pressure is on."