With any team that's looking to make a climb up the ladder, it's important to recruit experienced leadership into the fray.
The baseball program at Shawnee State will be getting that type of talent with the incoming transfer of Dillon Bickerton, who will make his way from NCAA Division III Geneva (Pa.) College to SSU for the 2021 season on forward.
The opportunity to continue his collegiate career at Shawnee State, Bickerton says, is a blessing that he is glad to continue to enjoy.
"I've always dreamed of playing college baseball since I was growing up," Bickerton said. "It's a great opportunity to continue to play the game that I love."
In high school, Bickerton helped Salem improve its winning total by five games by embracing the pitching aspect of the game for the first time. Primarily a third baseman in high school, Bickerton went from not even throwing a single inning of action as a junior to 26 innings as a senior.
Bickerton, however, also improved greatly at additional aspects of the game. At third base, Bickerton, who committed 10 errors during his junior season, improved his fielding percentage by more than 16 points from his junior season to his senior year, and as a hitter, Bickerton improved his batting average by 119 points after hitting just .091 as a junior. He was named a Northern Buckeye Conference
"I enjoyed my time at Salem," Bickerton said. "We had a lot of fun and played against some really good competition within our conference."
In addition to baseball, Bickerton also wrestled at Salem. Participating for the Quakers on the mat, Bickerton said, was critical to his development as an athlete on the diamond.
"Wrestling helped me with baseball with the explosive movements that the game requires, as well as my conditioning and my core strength," Bickerton said. "It also helped improve my mental competitiveness of sports, such as working hard and getting the most out of my body."
At Geneva, Bickerton proved himself as a dependable talent. In three seasons with the Golden Tornadoes, Bickerton started 37 of the 45 career games that he competed in, becoming an exceptional fielder in the process by only committing two errors in 86 career chances with Geneva at the NCAA Division III level. He didn't commit a single error in 25 games last season.
With Shawnee State, the Northern Ohio native is looking forward to serving that same role for the Bears as his career enters its next phase.
"I want to perform at a high level, both on the field and in the classroom," Bickerton said. "That means working hard and doing all of the little things in the correct way."
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