The following story first appeared in the June 2 Press.
Chris and Scott Nealon ended their collegiate baseball careers in fine fashion. The Avon Lake grads each played four years of baseball at Baldwin Wallace College and at the conclusion of their senior season were honored with All-Conference awards. Chris Nealon was named second team All-OAC as first baseman and his brother Scott was named All-OAC honorable mention at designated hitter.
As a senior, Chris Nealon led the team in batting average (.390), home-runs (3) and doubles (10). In addition, he had 29 RBIs and scored 22 runs with a slugging percentage of .515. Defensively, he maintained a .993 fielding percentage as first baseman, committing only two errors in four seasons. He contributed on the mound as well, appearing in 18 games as a relief pitcher.
“It means a lot to be recognized with All-OAC honors simply because it is a reward for all the hard work my teammates and I put into the off-season,” Nealon said. “I went from just lifting weights to using more plyometrics and core training. I found myself getting some hits within the infield that I normally would not get because my speed was not as good as in the past. I definitely would not have been as successful if I did not hit between Jim Martin and my brother as I saw a lot of good pitches. Their successes allowed me to become a better hitter.”
Chris also credits his hitting coaches with the help they’ve given him not only this season but throughout his career.
“I made some minor adjustment with my swing midway through the season to end a slump I had,” he said. “That can be credited to both our hitting coaches Coach Kilburg and Coach Check. Their coaching throughout my career has been nothing but helpful for my success.”
Similarly, his brother Scott Nealon played an instrumental role in the yellow jackets’ success. He started and played in all 36 games his senior season and hit a career best .361. His success at the plate translated into six doubles, two home-runs, one triple, 28 RBIs and 24 runs scored. His on-base percentage was .417, accumulating five stolen bases.
“It means a lot to receive this award, especially with it being my last year of college baseball,” Nealon said. “Coming into the season I was more prepared physically and mentally than ever before. That had a lot to do with my off season workout.”
Scott admits his brother’s determination in the off-season motivated him to make his last season a memorable one.
“My brother really hit the workouts hard and that had a great effect on me. I saw his work ethic and it made me want to get better, too,” he said.
The brothers share the memory of seeing their head coach,Dr. Bob Fisher,earn the 700th win of his career as well as being a part of coach Fisher’s final season after 42 years.
“Coach Fisher has always been a great coach to us on the field and more importantly off the field,” said Nealon. “So with that combination there were many meaningful points along the way.”
The Nealon brothers have also had tremendous success in the classroom throughout their career at BW. Chris is a Dean’s List student and carries a 3.07 GPA while Scott is a Jacket Scholar with a 3.126 GPA.
Another ALHS grad, Alex Trzeciak, earned All-OAC honors as a member of the Baldwin Wallace men’s tennis team. Five members of the 2009-10 Baldwin Wallace team earned All-OAC honors. Trzeciak was also among seven B-W student-athletes named to the 2009-10 Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference At-Large team. B-W’s seven selections were the most of any of the 10 OAC institutions.