Many baseball players in the county have gone on to play at the collegiate or professional level and this year is no different.
The current roster of the University of Charleston baseball squad is dotted with six former players from Logan County, including: junior shortstop Ross Easterling of Logan; sophomore third baseman Timmy Rein of Logan; sophomore pitcher Corey Lakatos of Logan; and a trio of freshmen from Chapmanville Regional High School in Josh Easterling, Jordan Kirk and Dylan Saunders.
Last season, Ross Easterling hit .264 with 16 RBI, five doubles, a triple and six stolen bases.
Rein hit .204 for the Golden Eagles in 2011 with 16 RBI, a double, a triple and five steals.
Lakatos, a right-handed pitcher, hurled 7.1 scoreless innings last year for a perfect 0.00 ERA, tops on the team. He struck out one and walked one.
Charleston, a Division II school, finished last season with an 18-27 overall record and 11-14 mark in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Josh Easterling, Kirk and Saunders helped lead Chapmanville to a 35-3 record and Class AA state championship last spring.
The Easterlings are related and form a rare family combination with uncle (Ross) and nephew (Josh) playing on the same team.
Kirk, a catcher, hit an even .500 with eight homers and 47 RBI last season for Chapmanville. Josh Easterling, an outfielder (.372, seven HRs, 34 RBI) was also key for the Tigers. Saunders was a lefty relief pitcher for the Tigers.
Charleston is scheduled to open the 2012 season with a three-game home stand Feb. 25-26 against California (Pa.).
The highlight to the Golden Eagles’ schedule is an eight-game series in Winter Haven, Fla., March 12-16. UC is set to play Slippery Rock, Mansfield, University of Minnesota-Crookston, Northwood (Mich.) and Ohio Dominican while in the Sunshine State.
The Golden Eagles close out the regular season April 28-29 with a three-game home stand against WVIAC powerhouse West Virginia State. On the WV State Yellow Jackets’ roster are two more former Logan County baseball players in pitchers Jordan Butcher (Logan) and Caleb Toparis (Chapmanville).
West Virginia State was picked by the WVIAC coaches to win the South Division. The Yellow Jackets, led by Chase Pickering, went 25-18 last season. WV State is scheduled to open the season Feb. 18-19 with a three-game home stand at Institute against Notre Dame (Ohio).
Butcher, a junior right-hander, appeared in 13 games last season and registered a 1.02 ERA.
UC was picked to finish fifth in the eight-team South.
Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown were chosen one-two in the North Division.