|Baseball showcase features Raiders, Archers on Thursday|
Preview: TinCaps Parkview Field hosts county match-up at 4:30
By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Sportswriter
FORT WAYNE - Wayne Trace head baseball coach Matt Noggle and his counterpart Zac Feasby, head coach of the Antwerp Archers, are both approaching the big game at Parkview Field on Thursday, May 8 with the same attitude. Obviously, both coaches want to win, but having the opportunity to play at a venue like Parkview Field is as much a lifetime experience as it is about winning or losing.
“Once we found out we were playing in the showcase, we were excited and we talked to the kids about the opportunity. But once our season started we have been concentrating on the season and trying to get better and winning games,” said coach Noggle.
With the Parkview Field showdown featuring only two Ohio schools, both from here in Paulding County, the Raiders and Archers are quite familiar with each other. From the Green Meadows Conference, the two schools have played each other once this season with the Raiders coming out on top 6-4.
“We are certainly looking forward to Thursday’s game. It’s a great experience to have the opportunity to play in a large venue like Parkview Field. This is good for our seniors and something good to send them out on,” said second-year head coach Feasby.
Like Wayne Trace, Feasby admits they haven’t talked much about it but the players are fully aware of the game. They have been busy selling tickets for the game and are anxious for game day.
Actually, both teams have been selling tickets for the game. Admission price is $5 with each school keeping $4 from each ticket sold. Each school has sold at least 300 tickets at last count. Antwerp and Wayne Trace plan to use the profits from the game to improve their baseball program by updating the equipment and facility.
Antwerp will be selling presale tickets up to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the school in the high school office or at Antwerp Bank. Wayne Trace will be selling tickets at the school until 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Both teams are struggling on the field this year, but the rivalry that exists between the two county programs will make for an entertaining game. Each squad has but one win in the GMC, while overall the Archers are 4-12 (as of Monday) and the Raiders stand at 5-12.
“All season we have struggled with having one bad inning in a game that is costly to the outcome,” said Feasby.
Looking ahead to the game on Thursday Feasby said, “Sure, I want to win, but our goal is to have fun and give everyone the opportunity to play.”
For Coach Noggle, who is in his first hear at the helm, likes the idea of his kids having the opportunity to play at Parkview Field.
“We hope this will motivate the players. I don’t know if we will ever be invited to play again in the Showcase but we will use this opportunity to help build the program and get more kids out to play baseball,” he said.
Noggle and his coaching staff have talked about the opportunity to play before a large crowd and to use the game as a platform to prepare for the upcoming tournament.
On the Archers’ side, Coach Feasby describes the upcoming game as a memorable experience that each of his players will look back on as a once in a lifetime experience.
The Antwerp-Wayne Trace game is scheduled to start at 4:30 with the Leo verses Woodlan game to follow. The games will be broadcast on 106.7 The Fan and XFINITY Channel 81.
Tickets will be available at the gate.
The Parkview Sports Medicine baseball series is a three-week event featuring 28 area teams.