FOREST, VA-The Hampden-Sydney Baseball Tigers have been picked to finish fourth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Preseason Coaches Poll. The top half of the poll was picked tightly, with just one point separating first and second and third and fourth.
Shenandoah (96 pts) received six first place votes to top the poll, while Randolph-Macon garnered the remaining five first place votes to be picked second, just one point behind the Hornets. 2017 ODAC Champion Roanoke (71 pts) rounded out the top three, and Hampden-Sydney earned 70 points, picked fourth.
The Tigers return much talent from a 2017 squad that went 21-19 overall and 10-10 in conference play to finish fifth in the ODAC.
Captains Brian Goodwyn (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale) and Tyler Blevins (Draper, VA/Pulaski) will lead the group of 25 returners and 16 freshmen. Goodwyn, the 2016 ODAC Rookie of the Year, led the team in at bats (149), hits (46), triples (6), homeruns (5), RBI (30), and stolen bases (17) while batting .309. Blevins was second on the team with 129 at bats while hitting .248 to go with 25 runs scored and 15 batted in.
The Tigers also return three 2017 All-ODAC selections in sophomore pitcher Jonathan Triesler (Chesterfield, VA/Clover Hill), junior utility player Jayson Maitland (Colonial Heights, VA/Colonial Heights), and senior catcher Devin Daugherty (Norcross, GA/Greater Atlanta Christian School).
Triesler appeared on the mound 13 times while posting a 4-2 record with two saves and a 3.24 ERA. At the plate, he had six hits in 17 at bats with three runs batted in and four scored.
Maitland is coming off a strong season in the infield, having boasted a .330 batting average and .402 on base percentage with 30 hits in 91 at bats. He also was impressive on the mound in his 11 relief appearances, posting a 0.57 ERA with 17 strikeouts and three saves in 15.2 innings pitched.
Daughtery split time behind the plate and at designated hitter, seeing action in 25 games while hitting .337. Of his 29 hits, seven were doubles and two were homeruns.
The Tigers return several other regular starters in the field, including sophomore catcher Andrew Kasiski (Chesapeake, VA/Indian River) (.295 BA, 26 H, 16 R, 19 RBI), sophomore infielder Chase Counts (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes) (.304 BA, 31 H, 22 R, 21 RBI, 3 HR), Moe Gothe (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale) (.225 BA, 16 H, 19 R, 11 SB), and Cody Smith (Bristol, VA/Virginia HS) (.289 BA, 22 H, 14 R, 19 RBI, 5 2B).
On the bump, the team has much experience returning, with the pitching staff being headlined by sophomore Chase Mayberry (Appomattox, VA/Appomattox) and junior Jimmy Butler (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry). In his debut season, Mayberry boasted a 2.82 ERA and 4-1 record in his 11 starts. He led the team in innings pitched with 60.2 and was second in strikeouts with 48. Butler also had a team-high 11 starts and was 3-3 on the season with a 5.98 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched. Junior Trey Celata (Chesapeake, VA/Atlantic Shores Christian) will also be leaned on this season, after appearing in 20 games last year with a 4.28 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched.
The Tigers will open their season on Friday, February 16 as they host Huntingdon at 3:00 PM.
To see the Tigers preview their 2018 campaign, click here.
|2018 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL|
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Shenandoah University (6)||96 pts.|
|2. Randolph-Macon College (5)||95 pts.|
|3. Roanoke College||71 pts.|
|4. Hampden-Sydney College||70 pts.|
|5. Washington and Lee University||68 pts.|
|6. Virginia Wesleyan University||60 pts.|
|7. Guilford College||41 pts.|
|8. Emory & Henry College||33 pts.|
|9. Lynchburg College||25 pts.|
|10. Bridgewater College||23 pts.|
|10. Eastern Mennonite University||23 pts.|