The temperature is ratcheting up and June is right around the corner in Hopkinsville; and that can only mean one thing—Hoppers baseball is here!

The 2019 edition of the Hoppers marks the return of founding Head Coach Grayson Crawford to helm a roster of 24 players from 10 different states and 14 different college baseball programs ranging from NAIA to the NCAA DI and DII ranks. The roster also features two of Hoptown’s own, Drew McGowan of University Heights Academy and Lane Diuguid of Christian County High School, joining the roster to get a taste of college baseball before heading off to their respective collegiate programs. Crawford is joined by assistant coaches Adam Lairamore and Nick Walker. Lairamore is concluding his first season as an assistant coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University. Lairamore and the Bulldogs are currently in Lewiston, Idaho competing in the NAIA National Championship on Friday night. Walker coached alongside Crawford at Austin Peay in 2019 as a graduate assistant after completing his collegiate playing career for the Governors.

These unfamiliar faces met for the first time Monday night at Tiger Field to receive the brief from the coaching staff, GM Ted Jatczak, Board Chairman Frank Giles, and others about the fast-approaching season. Wet weather limited the group’s practice time on the diamond, but the Hoppers will be ready to roll come Friday night.

The new-look Hoppers look to build on and the success of the 2018 squad’s division championship and OVL runner-up finish. Crawford also looks to build on his mark as Hopper skipper after claiming 3 championships during his first stint at command.

Opening Night features your Hoppers taking on the Madisonville Miners at Hopkinsville High School Tiger Field. First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm. Admission is free courtesy of the Christian County Extensions Office. If you are unable to join us at Tiger Field, you can follow along with all of the action on GameChanger or through the airwaves with WHOP 95.3 FM/1230 AM.