Wilson, NC – The Tobs are excited to announce the return of six pitchers from our shortened 2020 season. Jacob Peaden (Davidson College), Jake Lewis (Eastern Kentucky University), Darren Williams (Eastern Kentucky University), Steven Worley (University of Mount Olive), Shane Rademacher (Chowan University), and Dawson Smith (Kaskaskia College) are looking to make a big impact on the mound during the Summer of 2021.

Jacob Peaden is a Greenville, NC native and a relief pitcher for the Wilson Tobs and Davidson College. Head Coach Harry Markotay talked up Peaden by saying “Peaden did a great job coming out of the pen for us in tough situations last season. He will be great to have back to add to the depth of our staff”. This will be Peaden’s second year with the Tobs and sophomore season with Davidson. In Jacobs’s shortened 2020 season with Davidson, he was impressive. In his six relief appearances with the Wildcats, opposing batters were left with a .159 Batting AVG and allowed 4 hits total. After his Spring Season at Davidson, Peaden returned to the Tobs in June to hold relief responsibilities. He finished with a 3-0 W/L record with a 3.12 ERA in his eight appearances. The Tobs look forward to seeing Jacob on the mound at Historic Fleming Stadium again this summer. When Jacob was asked about this upcoming 2021 season with the Tobs, he said “It feels great, I’m definitely excited to see some of the guys from last year, and meet some new players. I’m also looking forward to being led by Coach Harry once again. Overall I’m glad to be back to try and continue the winning culture and win the Petitt Cup!”

Crafty lefty Jake Lewis is from New Albany, Indiana and has played 3 seasons at EKU and is returning for his second season for the Wilson Tobs. Before COVID-19 struck the world, Lewis was coming off his best season in 2019 where he threw 21.2 innings and struckout 24 batters. Last summer, Lewis pitched 11 innings out of the pen and collected 8 Ks for the Tobs. Head Coach Harry Markotay recently said “We are excited to bring Jake back to be a big returner on our pitching staff. We are looking for him to be in a similar role as last season and continue to make a big impact for us on the mound and out of the pen”. The Tobs are excited for the leadership and talent Jake will bring to the Tobs rotation. Jacob is excited to be out on the diamond again after the Tobs 2020 Season was cut short. He spoke about the Tobs and said “I’m really excited to get the opportunity to come back to Wilson for the summer especially when last summer ended early due to Covid. I can’t wait to experience a maybe more normal summer in Wilson”.

Our next Tobs returning pitcher is Jake Lewis’s teammate Darren Williams. Williams is from Maysville, Kentucky and is in his fifth year as a redshirt senior. Pre COVID-19, Williams had his best year in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore where he pitched 39.2 IP in 24 appearances with 48 Ks. He left batters with a .241 AVG and recorded a 3.40 ERA. Wilson Tobs Head Coach, Harry Markotay summed up Williams’ 2020 summer performance and what he means for the future by stating “Williams was lights out for us last season and pitched with great intensity. He will again be a big part of our pitching staff and will also be a leader in the clubhouse to the many new additions to our roster this summer”. Williams will be a staple in Coach Markotay’s pitching staff with his high powered fastball. Darren was asked about getting a second shot to play here at Historic Fleming Stadium and he followed up with “It’s really exciting getting the opportunity to go back to Wilson for a normal summer. I’m excited to get back with the coaches, fans, and teammates. It’ll be a lot of fun to compete and get that Ring for Tobs Nation!”

Next up is 6’2, 220lb Junior from the University of Mount Olive, Steven Worley, who is our most veteran Tobs pitcher on the roster. The Tobs 2021 season will be his third year at Historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson, NC. Before the coronavirus leaked into the United States, Worley had one of his best years in 2018, where he pitched 21.1 IP and struckout 13 batters. Over his first two seasons with the Tobs, Worley has produced 25.1 IP and 21 Ks through 2019-2020. Head Coach Harry Markotay stated “Worley always comes in the game during big spots and always does the job. He has been great to have these past couple seasons and we look forward to having him back and continue to contribute to our success”. Steven is excited as well, when he talked to the Tobs, he said “playing in Wilson is always a good time and getting back with some of the guys I played with last year should be a good time for sure!”

Shane Rademacher is in his sophomore year at Chowan University and his second summer for the Wilson Tobs. Rademacher is a 6’3 pitcher from local Greenville, NC and has been starting the last few years for Chowan.  In 2020, Shane pitched 31.1 IP and struck out 27 batters for Chowan and posted an impressive 1.35 ERA with the Tobs. Head Coach Harry Markotay spoke about the current sophomore earlier this year by saying “he impressed us as a freshman competing at a high level last season. We will be looking for him to continue to compete at a high level this season in an elevated role”. When asked about playing for Wilson Tobs again this summer, Shane went on to say “It feels great. I’m super excited to be back in Wilson this summer playing for the Tobs. Last summer was an awesome experience for me and I can’t wait to be back playing in Fleming Stadium again this summer”.

The last returning pitcher on the list is sophomore from KasKaskia College, Dawson Smith. Dawson is a 6’6, 200lb pitcher from Teutopolis, Illinois. In the KasKaskia College 2020 season, Dawson has started four games with a 2-1 record, while producing 19Ks in 16IP with a 3.38 ERA. Head Coach Harry Markotay talked up Dawson’s size and athletic ability by saying “Smith will be a great asset for us to have back on the mound. Dawson is very physical and athletic, we look for him to continually improve though the season. He will be great to have back and we expect him to do big things for us this summer”. Last Summer, Smith pitched 8 innings while contributing to his 2.25 ERA and hopes to build off of his first year. When asked about coming back for the 2021 season, Dawson said “It feels great man. Everything about the Tobs felt like home. My host family was great and I’m looking forward to coming back this summer to compete and win a championship”.

Hey fans don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Wilson Tobs 2021 season opener and thirsty Thursday on Thursday, May 27. Stick around Memorial Day weekend for the Tobs always exciting Band Jam & Firework Show on Sunday, May 30! The Tobs Red, White, and Blue Firework Show will be Saturday, July 3. Season tickets and ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (252)291-8627, or by visiting www.wilsontobs.com.

The Wilson Tobs enter their 25th season as a founding member of the Coastal Plain League. The upcoming season for the Tobs will see community outreach, increased participation in helping the less fortunate, a Pettit Cup Championship team, and more exciting entertainment than ever before. We would like to dedicate each successful season to the Wilson Community, Coastal Plain League Organization, Host Families, Corporate Partners, and the Dedicated Fans.

The Wilson Tobs have played host to over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced a dozen players who have gone on to play in the MLB, including Cy Young MVP winner Justin Verlander. For more information on the Wilson Tobs, visit our website www.wilsontobs.com.