By Maddux Reid
The Trevecca softball and baseball teams are hitting the ground running for the 2019 season.
In their first weekends of play, baseball swept the University of Montavello in three games and softball beat Missouri-St. Louis and Delta State.
Baseball was predicted to land in 5th place after the pre-season poll. Ryan Schmalz, head baseball coach, said that’s motivation to the team.
“It tells us what the other teams in the conference think about us. I think we are much better than the 5th best team in the GMAC,” said Schmalz.
Going into the season, Schmalz had to replace a big loss of seniors. Trey Vanderpool, Bryant Goolsby and Davis Jackson are among the 16 new players that are expected to perform well this season. Although they have big shoes to fill, Schmalz said he has no doubt they will do so.
Schmalz expects high performance and leadership from key returners like Ethan Harrison, Sam Mang, Drew Pierce and Jesse Peters.
Peters was a go-to in the pitching rotation his sophomore year and is back in action this season after recovering from UCL surgery last year.
Schmalz expects this year’s pitching staff to be very deep, allowing them to use as many arms as they need.
“Peters will be a big part of our team’s success. He will slowly get better as the season moves along, and by the end, I expect him to be at or better than where he left off,” said Schmalz.
After a tough loss to Kentucky Wesleyan in the GMAC tournament last year, the team hopes to win conference this year and make it to the NCAA Regional.
“Being back this year is pretty exciting, I’m hoping to see success in the future with this team and myself,” said Peters. “Everyone’s goal is to get that conference ring, for 4th year guys especially, we’ve seen it slip away too many times. I’m confident in this team that we can finally bring the ring back to Trevecca.”
Softball has been off to a strong start, with big wins against University of Missouri-St. Louis, Delta State and a sweep against Lincoln Memorial.
Ben Tyree, head softball coach, is going into his 11th season with the Trojans. They had an impressive 30 wins last year, and hope to exceed that this year.
“The conference title is wide open this year. It’s huge we can start off on a long home stretch. It will come down to how well we can do in every regular season match-up,” said Tyree.
Tyree said the lady Trojans have a solid lineup up to down. Junior Makray Odom and senior Mary Collins have impressive stats this far and are ones to look out for in the batter’s box.
The experienced pitching staff is led by seniors Savannah Carr and Morgan Powell, as well as junior Ragyn Hall.
Tyree said having everyone back on the mound plus the addition of a freshman pitcher, Cali Norrod, there is enough depth to do some damage this year.
“I hope to have a better record than last year. I think we have a strong change to win conference this year and return to regionals,” said Collins.
It’s been a long three years since the lady Trojans have won a conference title and compete in the NCAA regional.
“If our pitchers can hold up and we don’t have injuries, I think we can contend for a championship,” said Tyree.