Williamsport’s season started poorly. Opening day is full of expectation, excitement, and enthusiasm, hence a ball club should start the season at home.
One might understand the irritation when the Williamsport Crosscutters started their 2023 season by losing a four-game series against their cross-state foe State College Spikes.
After the series finale, Williamsport manager Jesse Litsch said, “Nobody likes to lose, and right now we are not playing like we wanna win, and that’s a problem. Some of these guys haven’t seen this much velocity or as excellent hitters. Swept is never good.”
Early season diamonds sparkle brightly despite a difficult start. Ryan Vogel and Sean Smith have been Williamsport Crosscutters outfielders.
Even without a roster sheet, Cutters fans who attended the first two home games remember Vogel.
After a diving catch on opening day, Vogel remarked, “I’d say that’s my strongest aspect of my game (making those defensive plays).
The 21-year-old, 5-foot-10 outfielder from Metamora, Illinois has played well at the plate despite his defense being his major strength.
Vogel leads the Cutters in hits and strikes out the fewest, three times, heading into their third series of the season at home against Mahoning Valley on Friday.
Despite a small sample size, Bradley University students may become Bowman Field’s major appeal.
However, the man he lines up across in the outfield turf may be an alternative.
Sean Smith’s season-long arrival was unknown. The 6-0, 20-year-old Mississippian coming off his junior season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College made it simple.
However, his speed, fielding, and.333 batting average following his freshman season may explain why he was called up to the MLB Draft League.
Despite attending community college, Smith was a huge high school prospect. Pascagoula High senior Smith hit.426 with six home runs and 43 RBIs.
The draft league has seen that productivity. The Mississippian leads the Cutters in hitting average with.368 and is third in OPS with 1.008.
Both outfielders have started similarly. Both are versatile outfielders and are in the top half of the squad in hitting average.
Williamsport won its first game of the season in resounding manner after being swept to start the season and losing a heartbreaking 6-5 game to the West Virginia Black Bears. The Cutters defeated the Black Bears 13-1 with nine runs in the 5th and 6th innings.
The Cutters won their first series of the season by defeating the Black Bears 12-7 in the rubber match after trailing 4-0. Vogel’s two-out, two-RBI single sealed the Mountain State win.
Smith contributed in the rubber match by going 4 for 4 with a home run, three runs, and three RBIs. Next week, the Crosscutters will play six games at home, starting with a three-game series against Mahoning Valley on Friday and ending with a three-game set against West Virginia on Wednesday.