Stillwater News Press

Sports

July 4, 2012

Perry trio unites to lead Legionnaires

STILLWATER, Okla. — Over the last two years, Quade Vanderburg, Jared Bartmann and Weston Ward helped lead the Perry Maroons on playoff runs in the state baseball playoffs. This summer they have reunited on the Stillwater Legionnaires.

“It feels great,” Bartmann said. “We get along with each other and enjoy playing baseball.”

Vanderburg graduated in 2011 and pitched for the Legionnaires last season. This year, after his playing eligibility expired Vanderburg is coaching first base and working with pitchers. The Perry graduate said his new duties has changed his relationship with his former teammates.

“You go from being their friend to telling them what they have to do,” Vanderburg said. “When I was at Perry, I would goof off with them. One thing coach (Scott) Baugh said is ‘You got to get the player out of you. If you are going to coach you can’t be a player.’”

Vanderburg said his friendships with Ward and Bartmann help.

“I know what they can do,” Vanderburg said. “I know if they are clutch in certain situations. With Bartmann, I know if he’s on that certain day or if he’s having a bad inning, I know he can get through it and I’ll give my recommendation to coach.”

Vanderburg said he wants to be a baseball coach adding that Legionnaires’ head coach Scott Baugh has helped a lot.

“I’m to the point that I know that I’m not going to be a marine biologist or a rocket scientist,” Vanderburg said. “I’m to the point where I want to get a good degree and come back and teach and coach. I personally think I would be a good baseball coach. Under coach Baugh, he’s helping me mature to be that kind of coach.”

The first base and pitching coach is entering his sophomore year at Northwestern State in Enid and said that this season’s Legionnaire team is talented.

“We have some new players,” Vanderburg said. “Last year we were a big power hitting team. This year we are more small ball, bunt them around, steal bases kind of team. It’s different because that’s not how I played here but it's a lot of fun.”

Ward, who is entering his senior year at Perry said he has good chemistry with his teammates.

“We are just taking that over with our new teammates,” Ward said. “It feels like the last couple years of high school.”

Stillwater is on a four-game winning streak after winning the Brad Holt Memorial Tournament last Sunday. Bartmann pitched three innings and earned a win Friday. Ward recorded two hits, scored two runs and drove in two in four games. Ward said the momentum is fun.

“It’s great for us,” Ward said. “We started kind of slow and this was just what we needed in the middle of the year. Hopefully it can get us going in the right direction.”

Bartmann said he and Ward have been on several baseball fields together.

“We’ve played with each other since we were little,” Bartmann said.

Bartmann who graduated last May, said he enjoys just being on the field.

“I enjoy just going out there and playing and having a good time,” Bartmann said.

Both Bartmann and Ward see playing baseball in their future.

“I’ve got a couple offers,” Bartmann said.

“I’d like to play (on the Legion team) next year and hopefully college ball,” Ward said. “Hopefully this has opened up some new roads for me.”

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