By Anne Hassler Heidel
The McPherson Pipeliners kicked off their inaugural season on May 31 at Light Capital Field against the Haven Warhawks gaining an 8-1 win on the strong pitching performance of Osvaldo Mendez.
The McPherson Pipeliners have a three-year contract with the Nation Baseball Congress (NBC) and the Kansas Collegiate League Baseball (KCLB).
Coach Caleb Hartman has assembled a roster of 35 college age players from across the United States, from as far away as Puerto Rico and North Carolina.
Osvaldo Mendez, 19, hails from Puerto Rico and has played college ball at Wabash Valley College, pitching for the Warriors. WVC is a DI Junior College with a nationally-ranked baseball team. Mendez is committed to play for Mississippi Valley State after completing his junior college stint at WVC. Mendez is a left-handed pitcher with an average fastball speed of 84 mph. He was ranked third among all left-handed pitchers graduating nationally in 2017.
Carson Davis and Nick Roets, both North Carolina natives, played together at Saint Augustine University, a D-II Independent school in Raleigh, N.C. with a 12-29 record in 2018. Davis, a catcher, and Roet, an infielder, both saw significant playing time for the Falcons in the 2018 season.
There will be a few familiar names on the roster of 35 players, such as former Bullpups Cody Starkel and Marcus McDaniel.
Hartman and Coach Chad Pinson stress this is not a short-term project and they intend on building a legacy in McPherson. To do that they are drawing on their coaching experience and bringing in other coaching talent.
Asst. Coach Chad Pinson, who has coached more than 5,000 young athletes in Lyons, Kan., will work with players in the infield and on hitting. Taylor Werts, will work with outfield players and is the pitching coach. Werts is a Texas native who moved here in 2010 to play baseball at McPherson College.
Coaches Pinson and Hartman said “We invite family, friends and newcomers out all summer to watch us compete for a national title at the NBC World Series held in Wichita every late July-early August!
More information on the season schedule and player roster is available on the team’s website McPhersonPipeliners.com.