By Dan Yount
The Cincinnati Herald
After being cancelled in 2009, the baseball program at Cincinnati Christian University was reinstated four years ago, and the program is growing and improving as the team fields promising recruits during a rebuilding effort, said Montaous Walton, assistant coach.
The team’s season ended several weeks ago, and Walton, who focuses on recruiting, is busy working signing recruits for the 2020 recruiting class.
At the end of the season, the team was one game shy of making the River State Conference playoffs, and it was the first time the team was that close to participating in a conference tournament.
The team played 55 games and was eight and 19 in its conference this year. It was 13-39 in play in state and out of state this season.
“However, we have been progressing really good so far,’’ Walton said. “Our goal as a staff is to mold and build the program into a contender in our conference.’’
Walton explained, “Honestly, this season we had a very talented group of young freshmen who were hungry and are fighters. They scrapped with any team we competed against, never backing down, which is what I love… a young, hungry, tough and energetic team.’’
He said the upcoming recruiting class is very strong and solid.
“As the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, I recruit throughout the Midwest, especially in the Tri-State area. Also, this year we will have guys from Massachusetts, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Alabama and North Carolina arriving. They are all high-quality players, with 25 signed for the varsity and junior varsity program for next year.’’
Among the Ohio recruits are J.R. Young, who was a star infielder at Wapakoneta High School in Wapakoneta; Jacob Francis, a top pitcher from Jackson Center High School in Troy; Michael Briggs, a pitcher and infielder from Lima Central Catholic High School; Chad Ison-Zane, a pitcher from Trace High School in Chillicothe; John Salyers, an infielder from McClain High School in Greenfield; and Reginald Watts Jr., a left-handed pitcher from Euclid High School.
“There is a ton of very good talent here in Ohio,’’ he said.
Walton’s personal goal is to help John Taylor, head baseball coach, build the program up and shape it into a very solid program that can compete within the conference. “So far, we have been grinding and being very selective in getting high-quality, young talent for our program. I think we are moving in the right direction,’’ he said.
Walton, who is entering his third season on staff came to in 2017 after a stint as a Little League coach in Milwaukee and said he plans to be at the university a long time in building and sustaining the baseball program.