CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College baseball program announced this week that it will have eight T-Birds continuing their academic and athletic careers at four-year institutions next season.
Those eight student-athletes include three members from Cloud County's starting rotation this past spring (Drew Scrimsher, John Stiger and Gabriel Jacobo), three starting position players (Kolton Meyer, Jacob Grady and Garrett Graveline), and two players (Mason Fast and Clint Cole) that Cloud County head coach Eric Gilliland believes have bright futures ahead of them.
Gabriel Jacobo- Southwestern Oklahoma State (NCAA DII)
Jacobo, a converted infielder, displayed tremendous arm talent in his first season as a starting pitcher, striking out 58 hitters in 59.2 innings of work. His season was highlighted by a 10-strikeout, complete-game shutout of Butler Community College on April 22.
Gilliland: "Gabe converted to a pitcher this year and quickly became our No. 1 starter. He has good stuff and should only continue to improve as he gets more experience on the mound. He was also an outstanding leader for our team in every area and a 4.0 GPA student."
Kolton Meyer- Washburn University (NCAA DII)
Meyer, a left-handed power bat and steady first baseman, led the T-Birds' in home runs this season with 13. He'll leave as Cloud County's leader in hit-by-pitch for a single season and career (19).
Gilliland: "Kolton hit 13 home runs this year and was on base over 40% of the time. He can change a game with one swing of the bat and that made him attractive to a lot of NCAA schools."
Drew Scrimsher- Emporia State University (NCAA DII)
Scrimsher logged a team-high 67.2 innings as the workhorse of the T-Birds' rotation. He finished his sophomore season with a 4-5 record with three complete games.
Gilliland: "Drew transferred in at semester from Emporia State and will be going back with some much needed innings under his belt. He gained valuable experience here. Drew was a bulldog on the mound for us and had some really solid starts for us through the middle of conference play."
Garrett Graveline- Wayne State College (NCAA DII)
Graveline, a KJCCC Honorable Mention player this season, finished with a .346 batting average — .383 against conference opponents — and drove in 16. Defensively, among players who had 12 or more total chances, he led Cloud County with a .984 fielding percentage and threw out 18 base runners; the third most among KJCCC catchers.
Gilliland: "Garrett was our leader on the field. He caught almost every conference game and does so many little things behind the plate to give you a chance to win games. His offensive production was an added bonus."
Jacob Grady- Wayne State College (NCAA DII)
Grady was a middle of the order, run producing bat for the T-Birds in 2017, finishing third on the team in RBI (36) and home runs (6), and second in doubles (15).
Gilliland: "Jacob put together a nice 2-year career here at Cloud with over 40 extra base hits in 2 seasons. He goes hard every day and is fun to coach. He is the first guy there every day and the last guy to leave."
John Stiger- Sterling College (NAIA)
The left-hander led Cloud County in wins (6) and strikeouts (66) this season in 61.2 innings pitched.
Gilliland: "John is heading to a nationally competitive NAIA program in Sterling. He competes on the mound and he had some big wins for us including a postseason victory at Neosho."
Mason Fast- Tabor College (NAIA)
Fast appeared in 10 games for the T-Birds and recorded three hits in 13 at-bats, including a home run.
Gilliland: "Mason continued to improve from the day he got here to the day he left. He has some power in his bat and has turned himself into a solid catcher. He is heading to a great program at Tabor."
Clint Cole- Ottawa University (NAIA)
Cole, a right-hander pitcher, made one appearance for the T-Birds in 2017, striking out three hitters in two innings of work against Hastings College JV on April 26.
Gilliland: "Clint started to find an identity towards the end of the year. He is just starting to come into his own and should have his best baseball ahead of him."