2017 Baseball Season PreviewJanuary 26, 2017
BREVARD, N.C. – After spending six seasons as an assistant coach for the Tornados baseball program, Sean Walsh enters his first season at the helm of the Brevard College baseball program.
The Tornados were picked 11th in this seasons preseason poll, it was released by conference officials Thursday morning.
“We are hoping to improve upon last year’s record, and also get back to the conference tournament, which we have made twice in our last 6 years,” said Walsh.
The 2016 Tornados finished the year at 15-34 overall and 5-19 in conference play, while junior Schuyler Martire (Pine Bush, N.Y.) earned All-SAC Honorable Mention accolades. Martire finished the year with a .325 batting average, collecting 38 hits and 14 runs batted in, while finishing the year 7-9 in stolen base attempts.
“Martire is our lone all conference performer returning from last year and we are hoping he can build upon last year’s success,” said Walsh. “We also return a good amount of experience on the mound in Tyler Konzen (Orlando, Fla.), Kyle Pittman (Monroe, N.C.), Tyler Timms (Williamston, S.C.), and Drake Black (Williamston, S.C.), all of whom logged some big innings for us the past two seasons and are hoping they can help lead the way.”
Pittman finished the year with the Tornados top earned run average at 6.32, appearing in 16 games, making six starts, while ending the season with 21 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Black, who was sophomore a season ago, finished the year 5-1 overall out of the bullpen, appearing in a team-high 19 games, striking out 23 batters in 28.1 innings.
Offensively, Brevard welcomes back five of its top-10 hitters from a year ago, as seniors Kyle Morrison (Greensboro, N.C.), Brayden Morris (Pulaski, Va.), Blaine Durham (Westfield, N.C.) and Parker Hubbard (Salisbury, N.C.) all return for their senior seasons. Morrison finished the 2016 tied with Martire for the third highest batting average on the team, while recording seven doubles and three homeruns. Morris capped off his junior campaign by hitting .313, with 31 hits and 14 runs batted in. Durham finished second on the team with four homeruns, while redshirt junior Josh Hall (Asheville, N.C.) finished seventh in the South Atlantic Conference with 17 stolen bases on 18 attempts.
In addition to a strong foundation of veteran talent, the 2017 Tornados come into the season featuring a freshman class of 18 new faces, many of whom could be called into action at any time this season.
“This team will also need to count on some contributions from our freshman class, we have been pleased with some of their progress and we are really looking forward to see what they can do,” said Walsh.”
Opening day for the 2017 season is slated for Feb. 4 as the Tornados host King University for a pair of back-to-back double headers beginning as 12 and 3 p.m. from Gill Coan Field, before opening SAC play Feb. 24 with a three game series at home with Lincoln Memorial University.
Rk Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Catawba (8) 107
2. Tusculum (1) 90
3. Newberry (1) 86
4. Carson-Newman (1) 78
5. Lincoln Memorial 74
6. Wingate 74
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 70
8. Mars Hill 39
9. Anderson 38
10. Coker 37
11. Brevard 19
2017 South Atlantic Conference Baseball
All-SAC First Team
OF – Daymon Totherow, Newberry
OF – Ryan Addington, Carson-Newman
OF – Cade Snapp, Carson-Newman
1B – Chance Bowden, Catawba
2B – Zack Finchum, Tusculum
SS – Jimmy Rice, Carson-Newman
3B – Derek Olenchuck, Newberry
C – Jeff Sneed, Newberry
DH – Malachi Hanes, Catawba
SP – Zack Kelly, Newberry
SP – Russ Weiker, Catawba
SP – Ethan Elliott, Lincoln Memorial
RP – Bryan Blanton, Catawba
All-SAC Second Team
OF – Mason Ewers, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Danton Hyman, Newberry
OF – Austin Turgeon, Wingate
1B – Nick Lacina, Tusculum
2B – Kyle Smith, Catawba
SS – Bryson Conner, Coker
3B – Eric Kalman, Lincoln Memorial
C – Gooch Greer, Carson-Newman
DH – Bradley Brown, Wingate
SP – Brandon Dona hue, Wingate
SP – Christian Raasch, Tusculum
SP – Zach Slagle, Tusculum
RP – Tad Ratliff, Lenoir-Rhyne