Baseball Season Outlook
The Cougars are ready to get into full swing when they open up at Northwood University on February 1st. Head Coach Josh Rebandt is in his 2nd year and is looking forward to a quality season on and off the field. "We have a lot of young talent again this year, and have a good mix of players who are now veterans. We should be stronger on the mound, and also have some improvements defensively."
Sophomore Will Kirby (Sickles HS) is returning to the starting rotation this year, and is looking to build off his freshman season after finishing with 62 1/3 innings pitched carrying a 6.64 ERA. Freshman Brandon Gonzalez (Sarasota HS) will start this year, and should get a lot of quality innings. Freshman Stephen Martin (Chamberlain HS) should round out the weekend rotation.
Freshman Wade Irwin (Tavares HS), Taylor Hill (Prince Avenue Christian HS), Garrett Johns (North Florida) will be in the bullpen, and may see spot starts from time to time.
Junior Kyle Baitz (Wharton HS), who appeared in 27 games out of the pen in 2012 with a 5.45 ERA, should see action as soon as he finishes rehab from shoulder surgery. Noel Thomas (Northeast HS) will provide another lefty arm available for relief, and will likely see some time at first base. Thomas appeared in 7 games, throwing 10 1/3 innings, with a 0-1 record.
Slated to start at first base is Junior Joel Felten (Bible Baptist HS). He has collected over 40 base hits, along with 27 RBI, and 39 free passes during his two years in the program. Junior Jon Rivera will be called to start at second, after hitting .220 over 41 AB's last spring. Sophomore Justin Capela (Florida Memorial) will fill the role at shortstop, hitting .333 in 12 AB's at Florida Memorial last season. He should see innings on the bump after going 0-1, with a 6.82 ERA over 30 1/3 innings. Freshman Jake Reidy (Florida State College at Jacksonville) is slated at third base. Reidy red shirted last spring at FSC-J, after a solid high school career at Chiefland High School, hitting .429 with 6 2B's, 6 HR's, and 27 RBI's his senior year. Barrette Lindsay (Brewton Parker) will back up at first base. Lindsay went 4-8 in pinch hit opportunities for the Cougars in 2012.
Freshman Caleb Jordan (Durant HS) and Peter Liloia IV (Phillipsburg Christian Alliance) are the backstop for the Cougars. Jordan hit .275 his senior year at Durant, mainly playing third base, but has adjusted well behind the plate. Liloia IV has been making improvements throughout the year as well.
In the outfield is returner Junior Jefte Velez (Providence Christian), who has hit .313 with 37 RBI's in his first two seasons with the Cougars. Junior David Edwards (Northside Christian), who has hit .339 and swiped 34 bases so far in his career. Edwards was named to the NCCAA DII All-American team during his freshman campaign. Chris Zweifach is a freshman from Orangewood Christian HS, who will see a lot of time in the outfield. He will be looked to cover a lot of ground in the outfield.
The Cougars home opener is Friday, February 15 at 7pm vs. Ave Maria University. Stay tuned to the website all season longer for updates.
Schedules and Scores
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