OLEAN, NY – When the Olean Oilers begin their quest for a third straight New York Collegiate Baseball League Friday, the team will look a little different from the past two seasons
Bobby Bell, who managed the Oilers to NYCBL titles in 2015 and 2016, accepted a managerial post with the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in September.
Jay Weitzel, a Salamanca native who spent 17 years as an area scout for the Minnesota Twins, will take over the helm as the Oilers shoot for another title this summer
"The only thing harder than becoming a champion is remaining a champion,” Weitzel said. “However, with that being said, we will leave no stone unturned. Every year the goal is to put a winning product on the field that Olean and the community can be proud of."
Weitzel was instrumental in the creation of the Northeast Twins, a multi-level club baseball organization that pulls together some of the best talent from western and central New York and northern Pennsylvania to compete against other travel teams across the Northeast.
Since 2014, the Twins club baseball team has paced 34 players in college baseball. Nine of them will play for the Oilers this summer.
"It's been very satisfying to see the Northeast Twins guys continue to grow as humans and as baseball players," Weitzel said. "They know what they are going to get from me and what I am going to get from them."
The Oilers open the 2017 season Friday at 7 p.m. against the Hornell Dodgers at Bradner Stadium in Olean. Fireworks will follow the game.