Baseball Season Review
The Cougars baseball team were under new leadership for the 2012 season, as first year head coach Josh Rebandt, along with assistants Jack Taylor and Joe Keen, were put in place.
The team was led by senior captains Ethan Barba (SS) and Zack Weber (1B/RF), along with two other seniors, Brent Kirkley (RHP), and Josh Williams (RHP). Barba led the everyday players with a .346 batting average, and led the team with 58 total bases, and tied for second in RBI's with 20. Weber batted .320, leading the everyday players with an on base percentage of .450, tying for first in free passes with 25. Kirkley fnished a great career, in which he earned All-American accolades in his sophomore and junior seasons, and was named the NCCAA DII National Pitcher of the Year his junior year. During his senior season, he picked up a pair of wins, with a 5.45 ERA, over 36 1/3 innings. Williams was second on the team in appearances on the mound, showing 13 times, only behind reliever Kyle Baitz, with 27 appearances. He picked up the first win of the season against Northwood University (NAIA), and became a consistent arm the team counted out of the pen.
Barba and Junior Kyle Leja (LHP) earned NCCAA DII All-Region honors, and Kirkley was named as an honorable mention. The Cougars also had one player that earned NCCAA DII Player of the Week Honors, which was Nate Krouse during the week of January 30-February 5.
Leja led the pitching staff, finishing the year with 3 of the teams 9 wins, and a 4.83 ERA over 63 1/3 innings.
The team accomplished a couple big feats during the year, including a season series win against Eckerd College (NCAA DII), taking 2 of 3 games. They also swept NAIA opponent Alice Lloyd College on a weekend series, taking 3 games.
The season ended in an extra inning loss against Florida Christian College in the NCCAA DII South Region Semi Finals, losing 7-6.
One of the highlights of the 2012 season was the 1st Annual Mayor's Cup at Bright House Stadium against St. Petersburg College. Mayor George Cretekos was on hand and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. St. Petersburg College won the pitchers duel, 3-0.
The Cougars will miss their seniors, but are expecting a lot for next year as nearly the entire roster will be returning, that will help mentor the new freshman and transfers.
Schedules and Scores
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