The St. Catharine College Baseball squad heads to Mobile, AL at the end of the week to open their 2015 campaign. The Patriots look to continue the strong finish of the '14 season (28-27, 3rd MSC) with a host of returners and a new crop of Bat Pats.
Patriot mentor Luther Bramblett kicks off his 14th season in the Purple and Gold and holds a 459-223 slate. He and his staff look to continue the winning tradition and have been pleased with the pre-season workouts. "I think our guys are ready to play," noted Bramblett. "We've had a solid month of workouts and the weather was good enough to get outside a lot and see arms, game situations and prepare our defense."
The defense looks to be the strength of the club. The Patriots return 6 everyday starters from last year and several guys that saw game action. The middle of the defense will be strong with all four guys returning at catcher, the middle infield and center field. Also back are two weekend arms and the closer. "We return a solid nucleus and feel like that will help lead our club. These returners know what the schedule holds and how tough our conference is."
All Conference and Gold Glove second baseman Alfredo Bohorquez (Maracaibo, Venezuela) returns to lead the infield. He led the team at the plate, on the bases and on defense last year. Shortstop Francisco Gonzalez (San Diego, CA) returns and that duo turned 29 double plays last year and only had 20 combined errors in 54 games. Marc Mason (Tehama, CA) will compete at third and can play both short and second and will push for time at all three spots.
At third base, a trio of Pats will see time. Evan Smith (Jacksonville, FL) returns after a year off and provides a strong RH stick in the lineup. Josh Wenning (Palmyra, IN) will compete for innings at the hot corner and can play second as well. He provides a LH presence in the batting order. Mason will also see time there.
At first base, returner Dominique Guevara (Oxnard, CA) will get the nod. He played in 33 games last year. Tyler Devine (Harrodsburg, KY) will also see time as well. Both guys could also see time at the DH spot.
Behind the dish, Drew Kissel (Jeffersonville, IN) returns, where he saw action in 46 games last year. Tyler Steiner (Coral Glades, FL) also returns and is the leader to split time with Kissel. He played in 16 games last year. Eric Walker (Rockford, IL) will provide depth and a solid LH option off the bench and could see time at DH.
Nick Rosso (Santa Barbara, CA) returns to lead the OF and will play center field. He was All Conference last year and led the squad in power numbers. Harold Diaz (Gurabo, PR) returns after winning a Gold Glove last year and is the leader in right field. Lamont Calloway (Louisville, KY) and Santiago Arce (Chula Vista, CA) are competing for the left field spot. Arce is a middle of the lineup presence and Calloway has great speed. Carlos Cespedes (Santo Domingo, DR) will compete for time in right and can play all three spots and will also see time on the mound. Cody Kollenberg (PeeWee Valley, KY) will provide depth.
All Conference selection John Werner (Anaheim, CA) returns to lead the staff. He led the team in innings, strike outs and had 6 wins. Steven Borkowski (San Diego, CA) returns after a 6 win campaign and both he and Werner look to be the top two arms. Omar Hernandez (Fresno, CA) and Daniel Lerma (Oxnard, CA) are competing for the 3rd spot in the rotation. Both guys are strike throwers and compete well.
Other possible starters include Austin Willis-Greene (Manhattan, NY) a transfer with experience, sophomore Derek Jones (Mt. Washington, KY) along with freshmen James Davenport (Louisville, KY), Conner Lindsay (Nicholasville, KY) and Nathan Getzin (Louisville, KY). All of these guys had good falls and continue to push for innings.
The bullpen will be led by All Conference Jake McCoy (Mesa, AZ). McCoy led the Pats with 9 saves last year and picked up 3 wins. Alex Knowles (Huntington Beach, CA) returns and newcomer Tyler Jones (Huntington Beach, CA) will both be top guys in the pen. Dylan Manley (Frankfort, KY) and Carlos Cespedes will both add quality depth and compete for innings.
The Patriots open up with the University of Mobile on Friday at 1:00 and continue the series on Saturday at 1:00. On Sunday, there will be a travel day to Jackson, MS and the Pats will play #14 Belhaven University on Monday at 5:00.