The Genesee Rapids second season is quickly approaching. Before regular season play kicks off, the Rapids will host the annual Old Timers All-Star game on May 29th at 7:00pm at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex at Houghton College to get the summer started. Local residents, including Dr. Rob Pool, Vice President of student life at Houghton College, Drew Hannan and Alicia Mucher, men’s and women’s basketball coaches at Houghton and Andrew Cahill, maintenance worker at Houghton will be battling the Rapids regular season player lineup in a lighthearted, family-friendly exhibition game. Admission to this game is free and there will be program booklets, Rapids merchandise and refreshments sold throughout the evening.
Kevin Austin, assistant pastor at Houghton Wesleyan Church will be returning as the coach the Old Timers team this year. He says, “I coached last year because I enjoy an atmosphere of competition surrounded with the concept of having fun! [The event] is a nice mix of enjoying the game all while catching up with friends and family.” Austin adds, “because of the pace of baseball, spectators often spend a lot of time during the game visiting and talking about all kinds of things. Well the Old Timers game is much like that for the coaches and players too.” He ends with, “laughter is good for the soul, and we certainly had a lot of good laughter last year and expect much of the same this year too. Winning the game would be fun, but not nearly as fun as playing the game.”
Souly Sanasith, a Houghton community member who participated in the game last summer, said, “I had a great time. It brought everyone together, the community and the players. I felt so proud and excited to show the great guys who we are and the facilities we have here in Houghton.” Souly and his family were also a host family for head coach Tyler Rost last year, and will be again this year. He says, “Our kids loved him and the team. What great and respectful men they are.” He adds, “I am so anxious to begin another great season here in our community.”
The first regular season home game will be Sunday, May 31st versus the Wellsville Nitros at 2pm at the Kerr-Pegula Athletic Complex. Admission for these games is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, and children under 5 year old are free. Individual and family season tickers are also available for purchase. Come out and support your Genesee Rapids!Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at www.geneseerapidsbaseball.com or on Facebook or Twitter @geneseerapids
Baseball’s Genesee Rapids return to Houghton this summer and again will be led by the highly experienced Tyler Rost. A former first team All-American at Cedarville University and professional for the Alpine Cowboys in Texas, Rost showcased his prowess during his inaugural season last year leading the Rapids to 21 team wins, to shatter a league record and to produce the MVP of the annual All-Star game. Coach Rost, aside from winning games, also desires to see his team members grow in Christ through the game of baseball.
Joining Rost for a second season, assistant Coach Bill Swanson also possesses a rich baseball background, which includes working as the batting practice pitcher for 13 years with the Buffalo Bisons, the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. When the Rapids are not in season, he serves as the assistant baseball coach at Alfred State University. Coach Swanson has a great love for baseball and for Christ and wants to share those attributes with all of the members of the Rapids.
The coaching staff will be finalized with the addition of Chad Muise, a member of the 2014 Rapids’ team, who will serve as the pitching coach and director of the annual Kids Baseball Camp. Muise is currently a senior pitcher on the Houghton College baseball team. As a communications major with a minor in sports ministry, Chad should transition smoothly in his fresh role for the Rapids. He comments, “Being a player last year is a big help because it allows me to know Coach Rost, know the league and know the organization.” Muise also adds, “I am most excited to be in a role of leadership to share my knowledge and passion of the game with younger guys. A majority of the players in this league aspire to a future in baseball, and I want to work with them.” Like Coach Rost and Swanson, Chad additionally wants to spiritually invest in the men. “The overall goal is to have them leave here feeling better in every aspect of their lives,” he states.
This coaching staff will strive to stay true to the Genesee Rapids mission statement, “to present to baseball players, coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of living for Jesus Christ in a needy world, through the game of baseball. With this at the forefront, the leaders hope to bring measurable success to the program this summer!
Check the complete game schedule and follow the Rapids at www.geneseerapidsbaseball.com or on Facebook or Twitter @geneseerapids
-Written by Abigail Schmidt, a sophomore Communications and Business major at Houghton College