The transition into the summer sports season continues in earnest this week with the Keene Swamp Bats preparing for their opener Wednesday night.
Players, coaches and team officials met Saturday for the first time as a group at American House Keene. The first practices under new coach Gary Calhoun, the associate head coach here last year, will take place today at Alumni Field and Tuesday at Keene State College.
The team opens its season Wednesday at Alumni Field against the Upper Valley Nighthawks at 6:30 p.m. The Bats will also be home Friday and Saturday nights.
As usual this time of year, the roster is in flux with the NCAA Division I College Baseball Tournament finishing up its opening weekend, whittling the field of 64 teams down to 16. Two of the teams eliminated, Liberty University and Central Connecticut State, have five players committed to the Bats; team President Kevin Watterson said he expects them to report sometime within the next week.
Also, returning stalwarts from last year’s club, Brandon Smith and Cordell Dunn Jr., could be picked in the Major League Amateur Draft, which runs today through Wednesday. If either are drafted, they would likely sign contracts and embark on their professional careers, Watterson said.
There were 14 players on hand Saturday — five positional players and nine pitchers — and Watterson this morning that a couple more came in Sunday. He also signed another player from Southern New Hampshire University today.