Catz Pitcher to return for new season

The Lehigh Valley Catz are proud to announce that Evan Neiser, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Arkansas Little-Rock and member of the 2002 Lehigh Valley Catz, has signed a letter of commitment and will be a member of the 2003 Catz squad. Neiser is currently 1-0 with 1 save and a 5.14 ERA in 9 appearances for UALR. Evan, now a junior, spent his first two collegiate seasons with NE Oklahoma A & M were he compiled a record of 10-5 over two seasons. Last summer with the Catz, Neiser was 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA earning 2nd Team All-MACBL honors. In addition, Evan fired a complete game shutout in the first round of last year’s MACBL playoffs as the Catz defeated the Moosic Mets 2-0.

Catz Head Coach Adrian Yaguez on the Neiser signing:

“Evan is a huge signing for us and our pitching staff – and I was committed to seeing him back with us in 2003,” explains Coach Yaguez. “Evan gets more out of sheer guts and determination than most kids I’ve been around. He’s not very big, but his heart sure is. He pitched real well for us last year and never backed down from anyone. He brings more to us than just another arm on the staff – He’ll help raise the bar – and make those around him better.”

Evan Chipman-Old Dominion- In two games vs. George Mason, Evan went a combined 3-9 with two runs scored and an RBI. ODU split the two games, losing game one 5-4 in 11 innings, then rebounding to win game two 8-2. In 18 games, Chipman is batting .283 with 10 runs scored and a team-leading 11 stolen bases.

Erik Ruff-West Chester-Erik was swinging a hot bat last week, going 8-18 with 8 RBI’s and 7 runs scored in 5 games played. He raised his overall average to .333 and is now tied for second on the team with 18 RBI’s and 34 total bases. West Chester won all five games last week, running their overall record to 15-3 on the season.

Ted Ledbetter-Oklahoma City- Looking back on our updates last week, Ted was batting an impressive .460 on the season. Somehow, Ledbetter improved on his incredible season and raised his batting average to a whopping .468. In 36 games and 111 at bats already this year, Ted leads OCU with 52 hits, 13 doubles and a .496 on-base %. Ted also has 4 home runs and 35 RBI’s. OCU is 32-5-1 on the season.

Matt Black-Oklahoma City- Matt blasted a two-run HR in a 19-0 OCU victory over St. Gregory’s. Black is now batting .275, with 1 HR and 8 RBI’s in 31 games played.

Please note, all updates are provided by information listed on each school’s individual web site. Catz players are encouraged to have their sports.

Softball Program: “Thank you” from the Hendrickson Family

Scooter called us from college last February and said he was talking to a coach about playing summer softball in Pennsylvania. We really believed that it was a dream that would never come true.

Soon, we received a phone call from Coach Yaguez. He was so good to answer all of my questions and get this set up. Suddenly this dream was a reality and in May I was contacted by a member of Scooter’s host family, Randy Samus. Randy and I talked for a long time exchanging information.

Scooter and I drove a day and a half, the end of May, to reach Easton, Pennsylvania. I loved Randy, Lori and their kids, Sean and Colin. They made us feel part of their family from the very beginning. As soon as we got to Easton, Randy took us to their Memorial Day family picnic where we were greeted openly. I could only spend a couple of days getting Scooter settled in but when I left Pennsylvania to fly back to Kansas City, I knew I was leaving Scooter with a wonderful, supportive family.

I had the opportunity to return to Pennsylvania for 10 days the first of July. During my stay, I was able to attend about 9 softball games. I enjoyed meeting some of the other host families, player’s families, and players.

I thought it was really neat how the host families supported all of the softball players by showing up to the games. At one of the out of town games, a host mother had brought coolers of food and drinks for all the players. Randy and Lori bent over backwards to make sure my stay was a wonderful experience and I will be forever grateful to them for that.

With the end of summer, Scooter was disappointed as well as all of you that they did not get into the playoffs. I think it was because playing up in Pennsylvania with the Catz was such a wonderful experience that he hated it was going to end.

We would like to thank Coach Yaguez for giving Scooter the opportunity to play in Pennsylvania and all of his hard work putting together the Catz team. I can talk about some of hard work that he did. The first, he found USSSA softball bats for all in team, he supported the member to practice, he was looking for funding for the whole team…I had talked to Coach Yaguez about listening to the games on the internet.

Somehow he got that set up and we enjoyed listening to several of the games that way. We know that there are a lot of people that helped put together the Catz schedule, recruited host families, set up bus trips, planned parties, updated the internet site, etc. Thank you all for your many hours to make all of this summer become a reality.

We can’t begin to thank all of the host families, especially Randy and Lori Samus, for their willingness to add a member to their family for the summer and be so supportive.

We really appreciate everything the Samus family did for me and Scooter. We always felt a part of their family and because of that we have made some wonderful friends in Pennsylvania that we will never forget. Thank you all for an experience of a lifetime and making our dreams come true.

Special Thanks from Former Catz Standout-Barrett Ward

Below is an e-mail Pat O’Connell received from Barrett Ward (Member of 2003 & 2004 Catz – 2004 ACBL MVP)

Catz,

I was on the web site seeing how things were going and couldn’t help but think about the memories I had while I was there. I wanted to send y’all an email to let you know how much I appreciate the experience you provided for me.

What you guys do for the players is unbelievable. You open up your homes and lives to a complete stranger in order to give him a chance to make it. It is like you have known him forever and would do anything for him.

I look back and it was one of the best times of my life. I was able to see that part of the country and meet some wonderful people. I only wish I had been able to play there for more years or had some eligibility left.

It is time for the real world now as a pharmaceutical rep. Imagine that me in sales. Never would have thought it, huh? I thank everyone in the organization for what the opportunity you provided me with. I want to send a special thanks to the Wilkins.

They were the best. Over my two summers there I gained another family. I have another Mom and Dad as well as two brothers. Words can’t express how much they mean to me.

Imagine having to put up with a kid from Arkansas who bounces off the wall with all kinds of country slang, and they did it with open arms. I just wanted to let everyone way up yonder know that I am very appreciative of the experience you provide me with and it is a great thing that you are doing for the players. You guys are awesome!!!

Thank you so much and God Bless,

BW

P.S. also could you forward it to the host families and the people apart of making it all possible. I want them to know that I still think about them and that I am thankful.