Category Archives: Baseball

FNB Baseball Classic Returns To V.A. Memorial Stadium

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(CHILLICOTHE) – The Chillicothe Paints will host the week-long 8th Annual First National Bank of Waverly Baseball Classic beginning Saturday, March 27.

A total of 31 high school teams will compete in an 18-game schedule over the seven-day period. “Opening Day” for Ohio High School baseball is Saturday, March 27, and there will be five games slated at VA Memorial Stadium, starting at 9 a.m.

There will be two games on Monday (29th), Tuesday (30th), Wednesday (31st) and Thursday (April 1st). One game will be played Friday (2nd) and the event will wrap up Saturday, April 3, with four more games, starting at 10 a.m.

The “Classic” was established in 2013 with the idea of providing local baseball fans the opportunity to watch some of the elite prep programs from around the state and southern Ohio. Many of the teams are perennial powers, making this week-long event one of the top showcases of high school baseball in Ohio.

A number of the players featured in these games are already committed to top Division I collegiate baseball programs, and many more are being heavily recruited to further their respective careers in baseball.

Mile Tree Screen Printing of Chillicothe is also a contributing sponsor.

Each day’s admission is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for students. Concessions will be available. 

COVID-19 measures will be in place and fans are required to maintain physical distance of at least six feet from those they do not live with or a face covering must be worn. 

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GAME SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 27

9 am – Dublin Coffman vs Westerville North

11 am – Westfall vs Buckeye Valley

1:45 pm – Zane Trace vs Canal Winchester

4:30 pm – Gallia Academy vs Jackson

7 pm – Wheelersburg vs Hilliard Darby

Monday, March 29

4:30 pm – Piketon vs McClain

7 pm – Southeastern vs North Adams

Tuesday, March 30

4:30 pm – Huntington vs Waverly

7 pm – Circleville vs Hillsboro

Wednesday, March 31

4:30 pm – Miami Trace vs Circleville

7 pm – Adena vs Lebanon

Thursday, April 1

4:30 pm – Jackson vs Unioto

7 pm – Paint Valley vs Portsmouth Clay

Friday, April 2

5:30 – Adena vs Pickerington Central

Saturday, April 3

10 am – Vinton County vs Heath

12:45 pm – Amanda Clearcreek vs Athens

3:30 pm – Wheelersburg vs Fort Loramie

6 pm – Washington CH vs Circleville

Paints Re-Sign Smith For 2021 Season

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(CHILLICOTHE) – The Chillicothe Paints, presented by Adena Health System, have re-signed outfielder Trey Smith for the upcoming 2021 season.

Smith, from Sikeston, Mo., helped lift the Paints to the 2019 Prospect League championship with a sixth-inning grand slam that served as the game-winning hit in a 5-2 road win over the Cape Catfish in the deciding game-three of the Prospect League Championship Series.

Including four playoff games, Smith played in 56 of the Paints’ 64 games in 2019, hitting .289 with 20 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 49 RBIs. He hit in 13-straight games from July 9 to July 25 and had 15 multi-hit games, including five with three or more.

Smith is a senior biology major at the University of Indianapolis, member of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound outfielder has played in 97 games over four years for the Greyhounds. This season, Smith has started six of Indy’s ten games and is hitting .391 with a double, triple, home run and four RBIs. 

Smith was an All-Conference player as a junior and senior in high school. During his senior season, he hit .433 with five home runs, 22 RBIs, 32 runs scored and stole 12 bases.

Chillicothe hosts the Lafayette Aviators at VA Memorial Stadium Thursday, May 27, at 7:05 p.m. to open the 2021 season, the 28th for the Paints. In addition to $1 draft beer for Thirsty Thursday, there will be a postgame fireworks show presented by 94 Country to celebrate the beginning of the new season.

Information regarding tickets, group outings, sponsorship opportunities and more is available by calling (740) 773-TEAM or by emailing the team at paints@bright.net.

Governor Announces Increase For Entertainment Seating Capacity

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine told viewers of his Thursday COVID-19 press conference update that attendance capacities for entertainment events in the state will be allowed to increase.

DeWine said indoor seating capacity will be allowed to expand to 25% of maximum seating capacity and outdoor events will be 30%.

In both cases, fans will still be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing of six feet between “spectator pods” of no more than six people. This applies to concerts and sporting events.

The governor stated that guidelines for fairs, festivals, proms, wedding receptions and parades will be announced soon.

Governor DeWine also said there will be 310,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week in Ohio. Certain Walmart and Meijer stores will be added as locations along with a number of independent pharmacies. He says vaccinations of school employees have been completed, with Ross County schools included this week.

Spring Sports Seasons Open Practice For OHSAA Schools

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Despite snow and ice being on the ground in most Ohio communities, Monday, February 22nd represents the start of the Spring Sports season for Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools.

This includes, baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field. Boys tennis practice then begins March 8th. While regular season contests for lacrosse can begin on March 19th, the other spring sports can begin play on March 27th.

This is a welcome sign for thousands of Ohio high school athletes after their spring sports seasons were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OHSAA Board of Directors has approved the tournament regulations in softball, baseball, track & field and boys tennis, with those state tournament venues to be:    

Boys Tennis: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, May 28-29    

Softball: Firestone Stadium, Akron, June 3-5    

Baseball: Canal Park, Akron, June 10-12     Softball: Firestone Stadium, Akron, June 3-5    

Track & Field: Division I at Hilliard Darby High School; Division II at Pickerington North High School; Division III at Westerville North High School    

Lacrosse: TBA

Paint Tab John Penn as Field Manager for 2021

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

The Chillicothe Paints have named John Penn as the team’s next Field Manager for the 2021 season which begins May 27th.

“I’m just very thankful and humbled for the doors that have opened up for me to be able to take this role” Penn stated in a team press release. “I’m looking forward to a great season. The Paints are a team with high standards and, technically speaking, are the defending champs.”

Penn fills the vacancy left by the departure of Brian Bigam last week (Brian Bigam Steps Down as Paints Field Manager) and becomes the team’s ninth field manager since the organization took the field in 1993.

Penn is currently an assistant coach at Bryant & Stratton Community College in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The 2010 graduate of Zane Trace High School, Penn earned his degree at Wabash College. Penn was a relief pitcher and a member of the 2011 team that won the North Coast Athletic Conference at VA Memorial Stadium that year.

“I’ve celebrated high school District Championships at VA Memorial Stadium and celebrated Wabash’s first NCAC Championship in school history on that field,” Penn said. “I have a ton of great memories stretching back to being a little kid going to Paints [youth baseball] camps. It’s all a little surreal that I’m going to be at the helm of a team in a town I grew up in.”

Prior to joining the staff at Bryan & Stratton, Penn spent two seasons with NCAA D1 Old Dominion working with catchers and hitters. The Monarchs reached the CUSA tournament and their catcher was selected in the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs.

Before his time at Old Dominion, Penn spent two seasons with Iowa Western Community College, working with catchers and hitters and assisting in recruiting. While in the IWCC, the Reivers earned a spot in the JUCO World Series in 2018 and produced 20 NCAA DI signees, 9 DII signees and three MLB draft picks.

The defending Prospect League Champion Chillicothe Paints open the 2021 season Thursday May 27th with the Lafayette Aviators at 7:05pm at VA Memorial Stadium.

Brian Bigam Steps Down as Paints Field Manager

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Brian Bigam, field manager of the Chillicothe Paints since 2016, is stepping away from the position. Bigam has been a member of the Paints coaching staff for 13 seasons.

Bigam amassed a 130-117 record over his four seasons at the helm, guiding the Paints to a pair of playoff appearances and the 2019 Prospect League Championship, the second in club history.

“Coaching the Chillicothe Paints was a dream job for me,” Bigam said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have the opportunity to be the field manager for such a long-standing and classy organization. To then be able to deliver a championship to the organization and fans made it that much more special.”

The Paints improved each year under Bigam’s tenure, from 23 wins in 2016 to 43 wins in 2019. With playoff appearances in each of his last two seasons, the Paints went a combined 78-49 in 2018 and 2019. They were even more impressive at home those two seasons, posting a 44-18 record (.709 winning percentage) at VA Memorial Stadium.

“I am at a point in my life where I need to step away and spend more time with my family,” Bigam added. “When your son asks you to coach his summer team and spend more time with him, you can’t say no to that. I’ve spent over a decade with the Paints. That means ten years of no vacation with the family and a lot of time away from them. It’s time to take a break.”

“Brian has been an integral part of our organization for many years. We will miss him leading our young men on and off the field,” said team president Bryan Wickline. “Brian is a first-class individual and always did what he felt was best for the Paints organization as a coach and field manager. We wish him well coaching his son’s summer team and support his decision to spend more time with his wife and children during the summer months.”

“I want to thank Bryan Wickline and the entire Paints organization for their unwavering support,” Bigam continued. “Coming to the ballpark every day is such a joy when you have ownership that cares about the players and coaches. The Paints Boosters are at another level. What they do for our players and coaches is unmatched! I want to thank the players as well. You’re only as good as your players and I’ve been blessed with tons of them thanks to Brian Mannino and their college coaches. Finally, I’d like to thank the best fans in the Prospect League. Nothing compares to the passion and love that these people bring to the ballpark on a nightly basis! For that, I’ll forever be grateful!”

“I would like to thank all of my assistants and Greg Cypret. The knowledge that Cyp possesses is unreal. I have learned so much from him about the game of baseball and will forever be grateful for that, but more importantly, Cyp is like a second father to me and the friendship that we’ve created is what I’ll be thankful for the most.”

“I also want to thank Jacob Wise. The coverage he provides for the coaches, players and fans is fantastic and professional. On top of this, he provides stats and insight that other organizations wish they could have.”
An announcement introducing the club’s 2021 field manager will be made in the near future.

Chillicothe Paints Unveil 2021 Baseball Schedule

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – In conjunction with the Prospect League, the Chillicothe Paints, presented by Adena Health System, announced their 2021 schedule Monday morning. The defending champions open the season Thursday, May 27, against the Lafayette Aviators at VA Memorial Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Along with $1 draft beer for Thirsty Thursday, there will also be a postgame fireworks display to celebrate the opening of the new season.

Once again, the schedule features 60 regular-season games with the Paints playing 30 at home and 30 on the road. This season, Chillicothe will play the Champion City Kings, Danville Dans, Johnstown Mill Rats, Lafayette Aviators, REX and West Virginia Miners. The Paints will play more than half its schedule against Johnstown and West Virginia with 18 matchups scheduled against each.

“The Paints are looking forward to a fantastic 28th season and competing for a second-straight Prospect League Championship! We certainly don’t know at this point how COVID 19 will affect the season, but we, as a League, are excited to provide our towns first-class collegiate baseball once again,” said President Bryan Wickline. “This year, maybe more important than ever, we will need the support of our business community and season ticket holders after last year’s cancellation. If you or your business would like to partner with us this season, please give us a call or send me an email to paints@bright.net. The Paints are set up with a great home schedule and we are working on many giveaways and promotions throughout the summer.”

The Prospect League schedule is designed to give players a taste of life in the minor leagues with charter bus travel, night games in front of enthusiastic crowds, and numerous overnight series in opponent cities. 

Having last played in 2019, the Prospect League lineup looks a bit different in 2021 with the addition of four new members and six new markets with the Alton River Dragons (Alton, Ill.), Johnstown Mill Rats (Johnstown, Pa.), Burlington Bees (Burlington, Iowa), and Clinton LumberKings (Clinton, Iowa). The O’Fallon Hoots will get to play their first season in the Prospect League after moving to O’Fallon, Mo., following the 2019 season. Additionally, the DuPage Pistol Shrimp will play in Peru, Ill., as the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp.

For the purposes of playoffs, Prospect League teams are divided into two conferences with two divisions within each conference. The Eastern Conference includes the Champion City Kings (Springfield, Ohio), Chillicothe Paints (Chillicothe, Ohio), Johnstown Mill Rats, and West Virginia Miners (Beckley, W.Va.) in one division and the Danville Dans (Danville, Ill.), Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp (Peru, Ill.), Lafayette Aviators (Lafayette, Ind.), and REX Baseball (Terre Haute, Ind.) in the other. The Western Conference includes the Burlington Bees, Clinton LumberKings, Normal CornBelters (Normal, Ill.), and Quincy Gems (Quincy, Ill.) in one division and the Alton River Dragons, Cape Catfish (Cape Girardeau, Mo.),O’Fallon Hoots, and Springfield Sliders (Springfield, Ill.) in the other.
 
The 2021 season also brings a return to split-season play, with division winners at the end of the first half of the season advancing to a one-game divisional championship August 5. Divisional champions advance to play a one-game conference championship August 7. Both conference champions advance to play one another in the best-of-three Prospect League Championship Series. Game one is August 9 and, after a travel day, game two and, if necessary, game three are August 11 and 12.

To advertise at VA Memorial Stadium or to schedule company outings, birthdays, team picnics or to receive group discounts, call the Paints Office at (740) 773-8326. Season tickets are also available online at www.ChillicothePaints.com, the Paints Office & Gift Shop at 11 East 2nd Street in Chillicothe, or by calling (740) 773-8326.

Prospect League Cancels Its 2020 Season

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

It’s a series of tough phone calls to make… notifying an expanded roster of 30 players, host families, support staff and sponsors. A product of the state the coronavirus pandemic has created.

In a news release Friday morning, the Prospect League announced the heartbreaking determination to cancel the 2020 season. The decision was based on the varying COVID-19 pandemic guidelines for safety, protection and limits on public gatherings and travel across the five states that are home to Prospect League teams.

The cancellation did not come without tireless effort to try to find a way to play. “We sure did our due diligence,” Chillicothe Paints Managing Partner Bryan Wickline said. “We’ve spent weeks and weeks of exploring options and gathering other teams’ information on their local and state guidelines. There were so many factors out of our control as far as other teams in the league were concerned.”

“The whole situation is just sad,” Wickline added. “There are still so many unknowns as it relates to the slow opening of the other states in our league. We had two teams lose the ability to play in their facilities a week or so ago. It came to a point where we were just running out of time and still had a lot of unanswered questions.”

We are heartbroken to announce that the 2020 season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting…

Posted by Prospect League on Friday, May 29, 2020

In addition to Ohio’s reopening guidelines, the Paints and the Prospect League are also at the mercy of four other states’ guidelines (West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri), which all currently differ from one another. “It comes down to the Paints have to have teams to play,” said Wickline. “We have two teams in Ohio in the Prospect League (out of 12). Ohio has been one of the quickest states to open up, especially for baseball and softball games. And, for that, we’re very thankful.”

Although the Paints won’t be playing baseball for the first time since their first season in 1993, the organization will be hosting baseball and softball games and other events throughout the summer and fall. In fact, the Paints and VA Memorial Stadium will be hosting high school and youth travel baseball teams beginning June 2. American Legion teams and softball games will also be played, with some extra safety measures. Anyone attending these events at VA Memorial Stadium must adhere to new rules and regulations based on local, state and federal guidelines, which be found on the Paints’ website, chillicothepaints.com, and on signs at the stadium entrance.

“Let’s just say there will be plenty of masks and hand sanitizer to go around,” Wickline explained. “We will follow the mandates and guidelines given to us for the facility to open safely. If you feel sick or if you’re uncomfortable being outside in an open setting around others, we kindly ask that you stay home.”

Masks will be required for everyone if the six-foot social distancing guideline cannot be maintained. “It’s a VA Hospital grounds mandate,” Wickline said. “However, the stadium can hold over 3,000 people, so keeping your distance from others should not be an issue, as these types of events typically draw less than 100 fans.”

The Chillicothe Paints do plan to defend their Prospect League championship and continue their tradition of providing affordable family entertainment to the area next summer. “It’s important to put the Paints in a position to return for the 2021 season,” Wickline added. “That’s our main focus now.”

We would like to thank our loyal fans, sponsors, booster club and host families for their continued support and look forward to playing again in 2021. “That’s the best we can hope for right now,” Wickline added.

Paints Season Pushed Back To July 1st, 2020

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Prospect League announced Wednesday a change in the 2020 schedule resulting in Opening Day moving from May 28 to July 1. 

“The Paints are cautiously optimistic but very hopeful that we will play a revised Prospect League schedule at VA Memorial Stadium this summer,” said Paints managing partner Bryan Wickline. “As a league, we targeted July 1 as Opening Day for the 2020 Season. With teams in five states and varied restrictions and extended stay-at-home orders, we look forward to the day we hear, “Play Ball!”  

The Paints will be taking extra precautions to keep fans, players and staff safe.

“We will certainly abide by our local, state, federal government and health organizations guidelines once we are permitted to host games,” Wickline added. “We will open VA Memorial Stadium as long as the safety and health of our fans, players, staff and umpires is met by the group-gathering guidelines and mandates.” 

Wickline continued, “As a country, this has been a challenge like no other! We look forward to the day when Paints games and VA Memorial stadium can be an outlet to safely gather and celebrate, entertain and cheer – for each other and for America’s favorite pastime – like never before.”

“Numerous American Legion and travel baseball organizations plan to host their games and tournaments this summer at VA Memorial Stadium as soon as they are permitted given Ohio’s gradual reopening. We will host these events as we are able to follow the recommended guidelines when they are played,” said Wickline.

The Paints downtown Gift Shop and Administrative office will reopen to regular business hours beginning Monday, May 18. 

From Around the Web: Prospect League; OHSAA Announcements

The Chillicothe Paints retweeted a message from the Prospect League:
“To all our loyal fans. Thanks you for showing tremendous patience during this difficult time. We are currently planning to play the 2020 Prospect League season as scheduled. We will continue to monitor this unprecedented situation and relay updates as they become available.

The Paints won the PL Championship in 2019, with hopes of repeating in 2020. The season is scheduled to begin May 28, 2020.

What’s ahead for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Winter tournament season and Spring Sports? We should find out more at noon Thursday.