The 2019 BWBL NWLA Roster was announced on Monday night. The BWBL is looking to look past their disappointing 2018 National tournament and are hoping to get into the Top 8 for the first time in this tournament. There are some changes this year. Kevin Sickle stepped down as BWBL manager and was replaced by Mark Belles. With all that being said, here is the BWBL NWLA Tournament roster.
*Note that I only included the years they played in the National Tournament as 2015 thru 2017 had a Regional Tournament (BWBL was an automatic qualifier in 2018 so didn't play in the 2018 Regionals)*
The roster for the NWLA Tournament is:
Zach Artim: This will be Artim's fourth appearance in the National Tournament. He played for the SRL in 2015, WWF in 2016 and played last year for the BWBL. Currently playing for Special K, Artim is undefeated on the mound in the BWBL. He is 7-0 with a 0.61 ERA and 80 strikeouts. He is hitting .431 with nine home runs and 19 RBIs.
Mark Belles: Belles will be the team manager of the 2019 BWBL National Team. This will be Belles' fourth appearance at the NWLA Tournament and first year as the BWBL's manager. Belles played for the SRL in 2015, WWF in 2016 and the BWBL in 2018. Belles is hitting .460 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the leadoff spot for Special K.
Steve Homza: Homza played for the BWBL team in the 2017 Regionals, he did not make the trip to Nationals so it will be his first time playing in the National Tournament. He is the captain of Special K and is hitting .421 with five home runs and 13 RBIs.
Brett Rooney: This will be Rooney's third appearance at the NWLA Tournament, all with the BWBL. Playing for the Electric City Express, Rooney is hitting .288 with five home runs and 19 RBIs.
JJ Neely: Neely will be making his second appearance at Nationals, both appearances with the BWBL. He plays for the Electric City Express. Neely is hitting .457 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. He also has had time on the mound for Electric City Express. He is 2-3 with 29 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings pitched.
Josh Quick: Quick will be making his first appearance at the NWLA Tournament. He plays for the Electric City Express and is in his fourth season in the BWBL. Quick is hitting .319 with six home runs and 17 RBIs. Quick has 60 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. Josh should get some time on mound in Morenci.
Joey Dougher: Dougher will be making the trip for the fourth time as well. 2015 and 2018 with the BWBL and 2016 with WWF. He is the captain of Team Backpack. Dougher is hitting .435 with five home runs and 14 RBIs. He is 4-3 with a 1.32 ERA and 85 strikeouts on the mound.
Mikey Holloway: Holloway is the fourth player on the roster making his fourth appearance in the NWLA Tournament. Mikey plays for Team Backpack. He is 3-3 with a 5.00 ERA and 54 strikeouts. Holloway is hitting .420 with four home runs and 16 RBIs.
Overall, it looks to be a pretty solid roster. However, pool play will be tough with KWL and MAW in it and might have to play to get into Double Elimination. With 6 of the 8 players on the team having significant time on the mound in the BWBL, the team looks to have some good arms. The bats are looking to be there with several hitters hitting over .400. Will the BWBL finally break into the Top 8 after several disappointing finishes over the last few years. I'll be definitely keeping my eye out on Twitter and Periscope to see how the NWLA Tournament unfolds throughout Saturday and Sunday.
Twitter: @JKWiffle29 @NEPASportsPage