BNL’s Allen, Ikerd sign with Rhodes State College to play baseball
Thursday, May 9, 2013
BY SEAN DUNCAN firstname.lastname@example.org
May 9, 2013
BEDFORD — Wednesday was signing day at Bedford North Lawrence High School.
Chase Allen and Trey Ikerd both put ink to paper in the BNL Team Room, committing to play baseball next year for coach Abe Ambroza at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio.
It was a dream come true for the teammates and close friends, who will not only room together at Rhodes but plan to study law enforcement.
“This has been a life-long dream and to finally make it come true with one of my best friends is a feeling you can’t express,” Allen said. “It’s awesome.”
Allen made the trip to Lima to tour the campus and quickly felt it was the right fit for him.
“I was there walking around campus and really liked it,” Allen said. “We sat down and talked for a little while. I liked his attitude, how much he liked the game and how much he knew about the game.
“I just feel like it’s a great fit for me and I’m looking forward to going and playing.”
Ikerd gained interest in playing for the Barons through Allen’s encouragement and researching Rhodes’ program.
“They looked like they have a pretty good team and I want to play college ball,” Ikerd said. “The coach is very knowledgeable and I’m excited to go play for him.
“I’m very excited to be able to go and play college ball, especially with one of my best friends. It feels great.”
The Barons participate in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference (ORCC). Other member conference schools are Ohio State Newark, Miami-Hamilton, Miami-Middletown, Akron-Wayne campus, Wright State Lake, OU-Lancaster, OU-Chillicothe, OU-Eastern and OU-Zanesville.
Rhodes competes against other members of the ORCC, as well as members of the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, and the USCAA.
Ambroza is in his fourth season as head coach for the Barons. During his tenure he has led the Barons to an ORCC record of 28-12, and an overall record of 55-53.
In 2010, Ambroza led the Barons to an ORCC East Division Championship and in 2011 to an ORCC Tournament Runner-Up finish.
The 2010 Championship was the first ORCC Championship for Barons baseball since 1993.
Ambroza said he was drawn to Allen and Ikerd not only for the athletic ability, but to their dedication to the game.
“They both wanted to play at the next level with passion,” he said. “You never want to have to talk someone into playing college baseball because it’s a big investment in your time.
“You could see it in their eyes and hear it in the voice when you were talking to them. This was a dream for both of them and this is what they wanted to do. They wanted to keep playing this game at the next level.”
Ambroza feels the two will adjust easily to the small-school atmosphere at Rhodes.
“You walk across campus in the quad and your professor is going to know you by name,” he said. “You’re not just 287 in their big class. You’ve got class sizes of 20 to 30.
“We’re one of those odd athletic departments that have two schools which feed into the same athletic department – Rhode State College and Ohio State Lima.
“What we are looking for and who we are recruiting now are young men who will start off at Rhode State College and finish their degree at Ohio State Lima and play four years for the Barons.”
BNL coach Jerry Chaney said he was proud of both players and the effort they have put into the game.
“Anytime you have a chance to send a kid to college it’s a neat experience,” Chaney said. “To me it’s better than winning baseball games to give a kid an opportunity to play at the next level.
“Chase has done a great job to get back in here and pitch and, of course, Trey is a four-year starter.
“Coach Ambroza is giving them a good shot to have the opportunity to go play and that’s all they want.”
Contact Times-Mail Sports Editor Sean Duncan at 277-7283 or email@example.com.