Bobcat Baseball Team Holds Senior Day To Honor Seniors And Their Folks

(Photos by Nate Girvan) Above: Bobcat seniors and their folks (L-R) Brandon Beish with mom Ashley Steele and Ira Alsdorf, Cole Slaugenhoup with dad Timothy and mom Lisa, Hunter Craddock with dad William and mom Kendra.

The Clarion Area Bobcats’ Baseball Team held Senior Day, to honor their three seniors and their folks, just prior to the game against Moniteau, at Clarion County Park on Tuesday, May 18th.

Honored were Brandon Beish, honored with and escorted by his mom Ashley Steele and Ira Alsdorf, Cole Slaugenhoup honored with and escorted by his mom Lisa and dad Timothy, and Hunter Craddock, honored with and escorted by his mom Kendra and dad William.

Coach Rob Jewett shared the following fine comments about each of his three seniors with Clarion Sports Zone.

Brandon with mom Ashley Steele and Ira Alsdorf

Brandon Beish

Brandon just started playing baseball with us last year.  He got 2 weeks’ worth of practice before we got shut down due to Covid-19.  Coming into his senior year, he was still very raw.  To Brandon’s credit, he worked really hard at his fielding, throwing and hitting.  He has made tremendous progress. 

I am so proud of where he is now to where he was at the beginning of the season.  He got his first hit of his career this year, with an RBI!  He has made really good contact in his last few at bats.  He has really helped us in the field when he is out there. 

He has been a great surprise to us coaches on how much he has grown into a baseball player.  He will be missed, but I know he is very excited to get his military career started!

Cole with mom Lisa and dad Timothy Slaugenhoup

Cole Slaugenhoup

Cole has played baseball all 4 years.  He played in quite a few games his freshman year as he was competing with others.  He became a full-time starter his sophomore year which was his breakout year.  He really hit the ball well and did a great job at primarily 3rd base, even though he is a catcher. 

He was primed to have another stellar year his junior year, but unfortunately it was cut short due to COVID-19. 

Cole came into his senior year a leader and determined to succeed.  He has such a great work ethic for baseball.  He is constantly working on improving every aspect of his game.  He came into this season bigger, stronger, better bat speed and a stronger arm.  He does such a great job leading this young team.  He gets along with all the players and is a role model baseball player. 

I asked Cole to do a lot this year, and boy did he respond.  Cole catches, plays 1st base and has become our top pitcher.  We didn’t have a number 1 pitcher coming into this season, and Cole took charge of that.  It has been such a joy watching him grow from a catcher throwing from the mound to an actual pitcher controlling the game.  He has come up with his own style of pitching that works best for our team.  He may not overpower many hitters, but he makes them hit his pitch and relies on his defense. 

He has also really stepped up at the plate this year, having his best season of his high school career.  He is batting over 0.400 and leads the team in RBI’s and homeruns.  He has such a nice approach at the plate, not much rattles him. 

The last aspect of Cole’s game is his catching.  He has been a wall behind the plate this year, throwing out baserunners left and right.  He keeps the younger pitchers under control and in the game.  Obviously I am very pleased with what Cole has done so far this year as the senior captain.  He has helped groom our young team into a very competitive, playoff bound team. 

I will surely miss Cole when he graduates, but I will not have to travel far to see him play again as he is playing his collegiate baseball at Penn State DuBois.

Hunter with mom Kendra and dad William Craddock

Hunter Craddock

This is Hunter’s first year playing baseball.  He played baseball up until high school, so he is familiar with the sport.  Hunter is big, strong, fast and determined athlete.  He had some rust he had to shake off to get into baseball shape.  He worked really hard to clean up his swing and get his timing for hitting.  He is really seeing the ball better now and is making much better contact.  He has been a tremendous outfielder for us this year.  He has good reads off the bat and goes after the ball 100% effort. 

He has been a great addition to this team.  He has helped with his bat, getting on base, stealing bases, and making plays in the field. 

Hunter is a great person on the field and off the field.  He has really worked hard on his baseball skills this season and it shows in his play.  I will also miss Hunter and his all-out playing style, but I know he will be the exact same way when he goes off to his military career.

Congratulations to Brandon, Cole and Hunter and your folks!!!! All the best in the future!!!!

(Thanks to Coach Jewett for his comments and to Nate Girvan for his photos.)