CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A nice summer breeze, the smell of hot dogs in the air, and the sights and sounds of fans cheering—baseball is back! The West Virginia Power officially opens the season on May 29th. With a new league, comes new management and a new team, but that fresh lineup does include at least one familiar face.
Arik Sikula is no stranger to Appalachian Power Park. The Hurricane High School alum won a state championship on that field 15 years ago. After graduating from high school, he continued playing baseball with the Herd at Marshall University.
“I used to come to the games in high school. I played my college games and the Power would come after us. It would be so cool to see the Power players and I thought, ‘Man, I hope one day I can play for the power,'” Sikula told 13 News This Morning Anchor Lily Bradley.
The pitcher was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. Sikula’s baseball career has taken him all across the world, with his favorite spot being Venezuela as that is where he met his wife. But this year, the job brings him back home to the Mountain State.
“It’s given me an opportunity I never thought I’d be able to do,” said Sikula.
But not only will he play on the field, he also works as an account executive for the team as well. Mixing sales and strikes seems like it could get complicated, but Sikula believes it’s actually beneficial for the team.
“I play with these guys and can hear directly from them about fresh ideas they have,” he explained. “Then I can take that back to the front office and really just make a better experience for everyone from the players and coaches, to the sales department, to the fans.”
Sikula says his ultimate goal is to one day become a General Manager of a team. His goal for this season with the Power?
“Win some games, throw some strikes, have some fun.”