Caleb Biancarelli and Riley Ulery have played baseball together since Little League, and the catcher-pitcher duo will continue to do so in college. The Southeast Lancer graduates have signed to play for the Neosho Community College Panthers in Chanute. Last season Neosho County finished 42-16, making it the fourth time in five seasons with 40 wins.
“I liked all of the coaches and I felt at home,” Biancarelli said of their visit to NCC. “We actually got to work out on the field and I just felt really comfortable there and feel like it’s a place I can play the next two years.”
“I just liked the atmosphere,” Ulery said. “The coach is really cool and I feel like I can get along with him.”
Last summer Biancarelli and Ulery became the first Southeast Lancers to play for the Pittsburg Post 64 team, a squad that won the Kansas American Legion Triple-A Championship. Biancarelli and Ulery said that experience against competitive teams, building great friendships with players from throughout the area, and then winning the state championship, was the most fun they have ever had playing baseball. The two are playing for Post 64 again this season.
The head coach of the Southeast Lancers baseball team, David Dainty, said that while Biancarelli and Ulery looked up to the kids who were older than them, they are the role models for the younger kids today.
“They got better and better every year, put in a lot of hard work, a lot of time throwing the ball, a lot of dedication – they are the athletes you want everybody to emulate,” said Coach Dainty. “They’re competitors and they work hard – they haven’t had it handed to them, they had to work hard for it.”
And the two have been putting in the time for a long time together. They have played football and basketball together, in addition to baseball.
“We started back in Little League, when we were seven-eight years old – we just had that pitcher-catcher bond,” said Biancarelli.
Asked what it’s been like catching for all of these years for Ulery, Biancarelli couldn’t help but kid around with his partner – “he throws hard and it hurts my hand sometimes, but other than that’s he’s good.”
And, for now, the two will continue to play together.
“It’s always nice having a real good friend going somewhere with you – someone you know so well makes it a lot more comfortable,” Ulery said.