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2022 NC State Baseball Preview - Part IV: Non-Conference Opponents

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We’re closing in on the start of the college baseball season, so let’s take a look at the team

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-NC State v Vanderbilt Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

With the calendar getting ready to turning over to February and the 2022 baseball season quickly approaching, let’s take a look at the NC State Wolfpack team that will take the field this season. We’ll attempt to do this in a four-part series again:

  • In Part I of this series, we took a look back at the 2021 season and the players who are no longer with the program.
  • In Part II of this series, we will look at the returnees from that 2021 team.
  • In Part III of this series, we took a look at the newcomers for 2022.
  • Part IV will take a look at the non-conference schedule and opponents for the Wolfpack this season.
  • Part V will take a look at the ACC opponents on deck for State this year.

So let’s get started!

Non-Conference Opponents

(For a look at the schedule, head on over to GoPack.com)


Evansville

Conference: Missouri Valley

Game Dates: February 18, 19, 20

2021 Record: 28-27 (11-16) | 2021 RPI: 174

Brief Outlook:

Evansville has had their moments in the sun in program history, including making a pair of regional appearances in the early/mid 2000’s, but that last regional appearance was in 2006 and aside from a regular season Missouri Valley championship in 2014, it’s been more bad than good lately. The Purple Aces will need to replace two of their best all-around hitters in Troy Beilsmith and Kenton Crews (both outfielders), but they do return their next six best bats from a year ago, including their top two home run hitters (Tanner Craig, Danny Borgstrom). Freshmen outfielder Cade Thornton should be in instant-impact player in the lineup and JUCO transfer Chase Hug offers an intriguing skillset. CSU-Bakersfield grad transfer Evan Berkey (2021 2nd Team All-Big West) will be a plug-and-play starter in the infield. A pair of freshman catchers (Chase Taylor, Evan Waggoner) should duke it out for the starting gig behind the dish. On the mound the team returns two-thirds of the weekend rotation, including top arm Shane Gray, as well as erratic closer Jakob Meyer. All told, Evansville returns eight-of-nine pitchers who tossed 20 or more innings last year, so experience shouldn’t be an issue. Nathan Hardman, Nate Kujawski, and Aussie Kieren Hall are a trio of JUCO transfer righties who should bolster the bullpen depth. Freshman righty Ryan Schneider should also be an impact arm, while the pitching staff should be bolstered by the return of Garrett Presko.

2022 Projected Record: 28-28 (10-11)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


High Point

Conference: Big South

Game Dates: February 22, April 20

2021 Record: 14-31 (12-25) | 2021 RPI: 240

Brief Outlook:

After slowly building up under Craig Cozart’s leadership with a run of five straight winning seasons from 2014-2018, including a pair of Top 100 RPI finishes in 2014 and 2015, the Panthers program back slid starting in 2019. A disastrous 2021 campaign cost Cozart his job (his son is NC State freshman catcher Jacob Cozart) and the program now trades hands to long-time Wake Forest assistant Joey Hammond. Hammond steps into a nice situation with six of the top seven hitters returning to the lineup, led by Cole Singsank, Peyton Carr, and Brady Pearre. Last year’s High Point offense averaged 5.8 runs/game and slashed .273/.355/.392. There shouldn’t be much of a drop-off from that. Lenoir-Rhyne transfer Connor Smith and Towson transfer Javon Fields should bolster their lineup depth. On the mound, the Panthers will have to replace their one true starter, Grey Lyttle, who led the team in innings pitched by a wide margin. NC State transfer C.J. Neese is a prime candidate to take over a role in the starting rotation, as is JUCO transfer Patrick Libby. Six-foot-nine Arkansas transfer Louis Stallone should also be a welcomed addition to the pitching staff. If High Point is going to make noise this year, they’ll either need a vastly improved pitching staff or the offense will have to just put up Herculean efforts on an every-game basis.

2022 Projected Record: 17-39 (10-14)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


Longwood

Conference: Big South

Game Dates: February 23

2021 Record: 17-32 (10-25) | 2021 RPI: 277

Brief Outlook:

Quite simply, Longwood has just not been a good baseball program since jumping to D1 in the early 2000’s. During their 17 seasons at this level, they’ve only cracked the Top 175 in RPI on just three occasions, with the highwater mark being a 144th ranking in 2013. The program is under new leadership in 2022 with first-time head coach Chad Oxendine coming over after a four-year run as an assistant coach with Coastal Carolina. At the plate, the Lancers return their top four hitters, as well as a few other experienced bats. There’s not much pop in the lineup, but Eliot Dix (2021 2nd Team All-Big South), Hayden Harris, and Jack Schnell all have solid on-base skills. Rowan College transfer Jim White should be an instant impact player for Longwood, while UMBC transfer Dylan Wilkinson has some nice skills and should factor into playing time. Greg Ryan is another name to watch; he’s in his third stop not (Pittsburgh, VCU), but hasn’t really had much run at either previous stop. On the bump, Longwood returns 41 of 49 starts from last year, but barring improvement and/or significant pitching staff additions, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The pitching staff as a whole produced a 6.16 ERA while allowing opponents to slash .285/.411/.387 last year, allowing 471 hits and 301 walks over 418.0 innings with 379 strikeouts. The one thing the staff did well - and something they’ll need to do well again - is limiting home runs. The weekend rotation (Andrew Melnyk, Andrew Potojecki, Dylan Saale) should be fine, but will need to go deeper in games to limit the exposure of an erratic bullpen. Coastal Carolina transfer Noah Eaker should play a prominent role in the bullpen immediately.

2022 Projected Record: 20-37 (9-15)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


Quinnipiac

Conference: MAAC

Game Dates: February 25, 26, 27

2021 Record: 7-21 (7-21) | 2021 RPI: 192

Brief Outlook:

Quinnipiac will be looking to regain the form the program had in 2018-2019 when they notched a pair of 2nd place finishes in the MAAC, as well as a MAAC tourney title in 2019 that sent them to the Greenville Regional, their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005. Making things more difficult for the Bobcats will be having to replace their top four hitters from a year ago - and that’s from a team that hit .251/.339/.363 as a group. The Bobcats will need the new blood to improve the offense. That group includes transfer outfielders Anthony Donofrio and Sean Swenson, as well as freshman infielders Ryan Grace and Zak Thomas. Brandyn Garcia returns to head the pitching staff, but the coaching staff will need to identify another capable pair of starting arms if they are to move back to the top half of the MAAC this year. Kevin Seitter has swing-and-miss stuff, but it also comes with miss-the-zone issues. Andrew Cubberly made only a pair of appearances last year, but one of those was a 4.2 IP, 0 H, 10 K effort in May. You hate to put a lot of pressure on one young, unproven arm, but a staff in this dire need of improvement might not have another option. Grad transfer Carter Poiry is poised to make in immediate impact while freshmen Ryan Hutchinson and Mason Ulsh add arms to the staff.

2022 Projected Record: 18-34 (8-16)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


Campbell

Conference: Big South

Game Dates: March 2, April 5

2021 Record: 37-18 (28-9) | 2021 RPI: 37

Brief Outlook:

Campbell is the class of the Big South Conference, winning the regular season title three straight seasons now while also capturing the conference tournament crown in two of those seasons (2018, 2019). Not coincidentally, they’ve made NCAA Regional appearances in each of those three seasons. Justin Haire has that program rolling, and 2022 should be another strong year. At the plate, the Camels return MLB Draft prospect Zach Neto along with fellow masher Connor Denning, but must replace two dominant hitters in Spencer Packard and Matthew Christian. The lineup won’t bottom out, though, as Bryce Arnold and Lawson Harrill return, as well as Hit (By Pitch) Machine Waldy Arias (seriously, 42 HBP in 303 PA... that’s a 13.9 HBP%). Per normal Campbell procedure, the team will also welcome a bevy of transfers into the mix. Drew Winters is an outfielder with a nice combo of power and speed, while Jarrod Belbin is a speedy on-base machine. Grant Knipp, Logan Jordan, and Jack Ellis provide a trio of options behind the plate and at DH. The weekend rotation is set with Ryan Chasse, Thomas Harrington (another MLB Draft prospect), and Cade Kuehler. The bullpen will need to replace closer Kevin Westlake, but does return Ty Cummings, who led the team in relief innings a year ago. Jake Murray, Trent Adams, and George Ferguson provide a trio of lefty arms that should have an immediate impact. Daniel Brown is a local kid from Broughton HS who is moving to the mound and could make an impact.

2022 Projected Record: 33-22 (19-5)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: Yes


Northeastern

Conference: Colonial

Game Dates: March 4, 5, 6

2021 Record: 36-12 (20-3) | 2021 RPI: 39

Brief Outlook:

Mike Glavine deserves a ton of credit for what he’s done in a short time at Northeastern. The program was not in terrible shape (five conference titles and three Regional appearances in 28 years under Neil McPhee), but none of that success had come since the Huskies joined the CAA in 2006. Glavine, brother of Tom, has captured four conference titles (regular season or tournament) since he took over in 2014, and all of those have come in the last four full seasons. The team will need to replace Jared Dupere and his 21 HR from a year ago, but they do return Max Viera, Danny Crossen, and Jeff Costello to lessen the blow (all three were named preseason All-CAA). The slugging percentage is sure to take a dip minus Dupere, but the team should still get on base at a solid rate (.390 as a team in 2021) and remain aggressive once there (119-of-149 in stolen bases last year). Undersized Kansas State transfer Luke Beckstein figures to factor in the lineup, as does freshman outfielder Mike Sirota (great-nephew of Whitey Ford) who was a 16th round pick of the Dodgers last year out of high school. Cam Schlittler, Wyatt Scotti, and Sebastian Keane will form a fantastic weekend rotation. The three righties combined to post an 18-4 record over 37 appearances (34 starts) last year, with a line of: 198.0 IP, 161 H, 50 BB, 197 K. Schlittler is the CAA Preseason Co-Player-of-the-Year. The trouble for the Huskies pitching staff will be replace three of their top four bullpen arms. Of the seven relief pitchers who logged double-digit innings in 2021, only three return. Eric Yost is the most experience relief arm returning, and he did save four games a year ago. Thankfully, with the starting three as talented as they are, Northeastern may not need a bunch of innings from the pen anyway. Of the new arms, freshmen Dennis Colleran and Jack Beauchesne look to be an immediate impact arms. Jordy Allard will be interesting to watch as a D3 transfer who was dominant (7-0, 0.91 ERA) at that level last year.

2022 Projected Record: 41-13 (18-6)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: Yes


UNC Greensboro

Conference: Southern

Game Dates: March 8, May 17

2021 Record: 27-25 (12-18) | 2021 RPI: 103

Brief Outlook:

Former ECU coach Billy Godwin enters his third year - his second full season - atop the UNCG program, trying to keep up the excellent results of his predecessor, current Notre Dame coach Power Wheels’ daddy. Hogan Windish, Pres Cavenaugh, and Greg Hardison provide the basis of a lineup that should provide some punch, despite having to replace top hitter Corey Rosier. Cavenaugh, Zack Budzik, and Daniel Cerda provide speed in the lineup. Freshman Kennedy Jones is a former participant in the USA Baseball National Team development program and should contribute early to the Spartans. Catcher Dallas Callahan is a former Coastal Carolina transfer who has great on-base skills and a better bat than his numbers showed last year; he’s a breakout candidate. Austin Parsley returns as the ace of the pitching staff and he should transition full time into the starting rotation this year. Austin Koehn and Alex Hoppe were both weekend rotation arms last year and return again in 2022, but the team will need them to be much improved if they want to climb up to the top half of the SoCon standings. The bullpen loses oft-used arms Brandon Stephens and Jack Voigt - as well as Parsley to the starting rotation - so finding replacements will be a must. Kross Robinson will reprise his role as closer after leading the team in saves last year (5). Former Mars Hill transfer Jared Mathewson showed some promise at the end of the last year, and he should carry a more significant role on this year’s pitching staff. Several transfer arms should also figure into the bullpen: K.J. Wells (Louisburg CC, High Point), Sam Murchison (NCCU), Camden Noble (Brunswick CC), and Brandon Wallace (ETSU).

2022 Projected Record: 27-28 (10-11)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


Elon

Conference: Colonial

Game Dates: March 15

2021 Record: 22-22 (10-8) | 2021 RPI: 124

Brief Outlook:

Man, Elon had a run, didn’t they? From 2000-2013 won 30+ games every season, not once finishing with a losing record or with an RPI at or above 100. Six times in that span they made NCAA Regional appearances. Since then, it’s been a tougher go of it, although the Phoenix did notch the CAA regular season title in 2019 and have a pair of second-place finishes in 2018 and 2021. So the program is still strong under long-time coach Mike Kennedy, but will be looking to break the seven season Regional drought in 2022. To help in accomplishing that mission, the offense returns top hitter Alex Iadisernia, as well as Cole Reynolds and Justin Cassella, but the few other capable hitters from a year ago are gone. Pittsburgh transfer Samuel Frontino should be an immediate starter who has both a solid glove and bat, while Xavier transfer Luke Stephenson should add some pop to the lineup. Another middle infield transfer, Connor Coolahan from La Salle, should also be a plug-and-play guy for Elon. Freshman Vince diLeonardo is one to watch. The pitching staff returns the top two starters (Brian Edgington, Joe Savino) and the top three relievers (Joe Sprake, Trevor Kirk, Kyle Greenler), so the foundation is solid there. Finding a third weekend starter (Ben Simon and Spencer Bauer or the most likely candidates) will be key, as will be finding a few more arms to support Sprake, Kirk, and Greenler in the bullpen. UMass-Lowell transfer Cam Seguin will be relied upon heavily, and could factor into the starting rotation. Jake Nolan is a freshman arm to watch.

2022 Projected Record: 29-24 (12-9)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


Coastal Carolina

Conference: Sun Belt

Game Dates: March 16

2021 Record: 27-24 (9-12) | 2021 RPI: 96

Brief Outlook:

2021 marked the first time since 2006 that Coastal didn’t finish in the top two of their conference regular season standings, while their 9-12 conference record was their first one under .500 since 1997. Needless to say, that season is probably going to stand as an outlier than a new normal. The Chanticleers’ top hitter from 2021, Eric Brown, returns for 2022, as does Billy Underwood, Nick Lucky, Dale Thomas, Zack Beach, and Tanner Garrison. Mark Reynolds wannabe B.T. Riopelle is also back, as is 2020 Freshman All-American Cooper Weiss who had an atrocious 2021. The lineup should be strong before accounting for a truckload of offensive weapons via the transfer market. Cal State Fullerton transfer Kameron Guangorena is garnering a bunch of preseason praise, but the other transfers are potential impact players themselves. Jake Gitter (Northern Colorado), Austin White (Rhode Island), Chris Rowan (Utah), Graham Brown (WVU Potomac State), and Chase Hudson (Brunswick CC) all have bats that should easily play at the Sun Belt level. That’s 14 bats to choose from before you even factor in William & Mary transfer Matt McDermott, a glove-first shortstop who was the CAA Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2021. This team is deep! Pitching, however... weyyull... Nick Parker is back as an arm with 25 career starts, but that’s not necessarily helpful if he pitches like he did in 2021. Jacob Maton also returns to the starting rotation, but again, he’s going to need to be much better for this team to take home another conference crown. Maton has big upside on the mound, though, so there’s hope there. Gone from the bullpen is top arm Alaska Abney, as well as fellow All-Name Team candidate Shaddon Peavyhouse. Thankfully for Coastal, another All-Name Team candidate, Teddy Sharkey, is back. Reece Maniscalsco is a former Wofford transfer who can be dominant in the rare instances when he’s healthy. Following the Wofford-to-Coastal trail this year is 2021 SoCon Pitcher-of-the-Year Elliot Carney, who should immediately step in as the ace of the pitching staff. Jack Billings (Virginia Tech via Rowan College) and Colin Yablonski (La Salle) are another pair of transfer arms who should provide immediate help for the Chants.

2022 Projected Record: 38-18 (22-8)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: Yes


NC A&T

Conference: Big South

Game Dates: March 22

2021 Record: 22-32 (17-15) | 2021 RPI: 254

Brief Outlook:

NC A&T is making a big move in 2022, switching conferences from the MEAC to the Big South. In the immediate, that’s likely to be a painful transition. From 2004-2011 under former coach Keith Shumate (now the head coach at Norfolk State) and from 2017 to now under current coach Ben Hall (we’re removing the awful Joel Sanchez years and the first couple years Hall had to rebuild), the Aggies posted an impressive 160-111 record in the MEAC. The Big South is going to be a different beast, and a tough non-conference slate will make matters worse. Making the transition tougher will be having to replace six of their top hitters from a year ago. The only hitter of note returning for 2022 is OF Cameron Brantley. As solid of a player as Brantley is, he’s going to need a lot of help to make this lineup produce with the step up in competition this year. A&T welcomes nine position player transfers to campus, led by 1B Tyshawn Barrett, the 2021 USA South Conference Player of the Year. Barrett will step in immediately as the Aggies’ first baseman. Joining him from Peace University is fellow infielder Alec Seaton. A&T also took a couple transfers from rival NC Central in the form of INF Cort Maynard and C Chet Sikes. Also joining the mix is power-hitting JUCO transfer Bret Mersman (Mott CC) and former highly regarded prep prospect Sabin Roane (Old Dominion). Jackson Hull is a freshman who has an opportunity to contribute early, either as a hitter or pitcher, or both. Fellow freshman OF Jarian Pinkney has some serious pop in the bat. The weekend rotation will need to be all but rebuilt, with Derek Martinez being the only returning starting pitcher. Martinez never made it through the fifth inning in any of his 11 starts in 2021, though, so they’ll need a much improved version of him in 2022. Xavier Meachem showed some promise last year and should get a look at the rotation, as should lefty Peyton Winebarger. Winebarger is the only returning pitcher on the staff who had an ERA under 6.00 last year, and his was 5.57, so not great. The bullpen also loses stud reliever Evan Gates and will need vast improvement. The pitching staff will need to rely on a bunch of freshman arms stepping up, but also brought in some transfers to help, including a pair from King University (Avery Cain, Jake Delisi). Pitt CC transfer logan Jarosz will be asked to shoulder a significant load. Among the freshmen, Jaheim Brown, Evan Demurias, Bryson Galloway, Darius Robinson, and the aforementioned Hull are names to watch.

2022 Projected Record: 14-38 (8-16)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No


East Carolina

Conference: AAC

Game Dates: March 29, April 26

2021 Record: 44-17 (20-8) | 2021 RPI: 15

Brief Outlook:

East Carolina has a proud baseball tradition - the best of any program to never get to Omaha. Keith LeClair ramped up that tradition in myriad ways, but not the least of which was winning a conference title (regular season or tournament) in each of his last four seasons. LeClair disciple Cliff Godwin took the reigns of the program in 2015 as the Pirates joined the AAC and he’s put the program back up to where LeClair had it, winning conference titles and knocking on the door to Omaha. ECU has won a conference title in four of Godwin’s six full seasons in Greenville and is the AAC preseason favorite again in 2022. The Pirates do have to replace their top three power bats from last year (2B Connor Norby, OF/1B/DH Thomas Francisco, C Seth Caddell), but return several players who should each reach double-digit home runs with slugging percentages above .500. 1B Josh Moylan, 2B Alec Makarewicz, 3B Zach Agnos, and OF Bryson Worrell are all impact power bats. Worrell, OF Ryley Johnson, and OF Lane Hoover all offer an aggressive speed element to the lineup. Glove-first SS Ryder Giles also returns having started 129 games over the last two-plus seasons. C Ben Newton is a polished defensive player with a bat that is solid, too. He should win the catching job outright, but freshman Ryan McCrystal is the complete package and could well take the job, although it’s more likely he serves as DH this year. With so much experience returning, it’s unlikely that many freshman will see significant time in the lineup, but the one JUCO transfer ECU brought in this year (OF Carter Cunningham) could. Cunningham has unreal speed and could be the best defensive outfielder on the team. On the mound, the Pirates have to replace 2021 1st Round MLB Draft pick Gavin Williams, but LHP Carson Wisenhunt looks to be a future 1st rounder himself. LHP Jake Kuchmaner returns for a fifth year with 37 career starts under his belt, but he’ll need to be more like his 2019-2020 self than what he was in 2021. Figuring out the third weekend starter will be key, although the money is on RHP Garrett Saylor who has shined in long-relief roles in the past. LHP C.J. Mayhue returns as the team’s closer and top relief arm; however, the Pirates must replace their next two top relief arms (Cam Colmore, Matt Bridges) - or top three if Saylor moves to the rotation. There’s talent, but not a lot of experience there as no other returning bullpen arm logged 15.0 or more innings last year. RHP Nick Logusch is a talented pitcher, but has struggled with control in the past. If he can locate, he’ll likely be the #2 bullpen arm in 2022. Ryder Giles should also see his relief role increase this year. Barry University grad transfer RHP Ben Terwilliger should also be a key bullpen member this year while competing with a slew of talented freshman arms (LHP Merritt Beeker, RHP Jake Hunter, RHP Jordan Little, RHP Wyatt Lunsford-Shenkman, RHP Trey Yesavage).

2022 Projected Record: 42-14 (19-5)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: Yes


UNC Wilmington

Conference: Colonial

Game Dates: April 12, May 10

2021 Record: 32-22 (13-8) | 2021 RPI: 67

Brief Outlook:

Randy Hood’s inaugural season atop the UNCW program seemed a bit underwhelming with the program missing the NCAA Tournament, but that’s more of a testament to his predecessor, Mark Scalf, than a team that won the 2021 CAA South Division and finished as runner-up in the conference tournament (on a walk-off home run on their own field, no less). The 2022 Seahawks should be neck-and-neck with Northeastern (the team that walked them off last year) as the class of the CAA. Returning the lead the group is UTIL Brooks Baldwin (Scalf’s nephew), the CAA Preseason Co-Player of the Year, who turned down the MLB despite being a 15th round draft pick last year. All told, UNCW returns four of their top six hitters from a year ago, including C Matt Suggs, SS Taber Mongero, and OF Dillon Lifrieri. All four of those players earned some level of preseason recognition from the conference. The Seahawks also return all five other position players who started double-digit games a year ago, so the foundation is solid for a team that slashed .276/.353/.419 in 2021. Add to the mix grad transfer Ethan Baucom (D2 All-American at UNC-Pembroke) and JUCO transfer Cam Murphy (Brunswick CC) and the lineup should be potent. On the mound, UNCW has to replace its entire starting weekend rotation, including 2021 CAA Pitcher of the Year Landen Roupp. One of the top arms expected to join the rotation, Ryan Calvert, is also out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. RHP Ethan Chenault and RHP Hunter Hodges both return to provide the basis for a solid bullpen, assuming one or both don’t transition to the starting rotation. RHP Jacob Shafer has a handful of starts under his belt, but got hit around pretty well last year. He’s a massive 6’8 guy with some velo, so the potential is there for a jump in production - or he could be another key bullpen arm. RHP Jason Hudak pitched really well down the stretch last year and should see an expanded role, as should twins RHP Cody Benton (former ECU transfer) and LHP Cole Benton. A pair of transfer arms should also make an impact this year in LHP Matt Gaither (Christopher Newport University) and RHP Brett Banks (Catawba Valley CC). The Seahawks also bring in seven freshman arms to supply depth, including flame-throwing righty Marty Gair (dude was pumping 97 in high school) and strong arms LHP Evan Marcinko and RHP R.J. Sales.

2022 Projected Record: 36-18 (17-7)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: Yes


Radford

Conference: Big South

Game Dates: April 29, 30, May 1

2021 Record: 23-23 (17-19) | 2021 RPI: 167

Brief Outlook:

Radford had a pretty good run under former coach Joe Raccuia from 2008-2019, peaking with a 45-16 effort in 2015 that saw the team finish 14th in RPI. The going was never that good in any of the other seasons (next best finish in RPI was 85th), but they finished in the top three of the Big South standings four times during that span, including winning the conference tournament in 2015 and 2017 to make the only two NCAA Regional appearances in program history. 2022 will be the second full season under Karl Kuhn, the long-time Virginia pitching coach, and he will have an uphill battle to reach the levels Raccuia had the program. Of the ten position player to start double-digit games last year, only two return, and one of those started just 13 games and had only 49 at-bats. The other returnee, at least, was the team’s top hitter in 2021, SS David Bryant. Kuhn has brought in nine position player transfers to try and rebuild the lineup. That group is led by OF Adam Morris (Washington & Jefferson), INF Zack Whitacre (WVU Potomac State), INF Will Trochiano (Manhattan), and OF Dudley Taw (Baldwin Wallace); each of them should be immediate lineup contributors. Given Kuhn’s resume as Virginia’s pitching coach, improvements on the mound should be expected despite the loss of all but one start from a year ago. 2021 closer RHP Alex Perkins is back, but the bullpen must replace their most frequently used arm. RHP Landon Higgerson, the owner of that lone returning start, should factor into a larger role this year. For the sake of his name alone, I hope LHP Storm Mace gets more innings this year. While not quite to the extent of the offensive rebuild, five transfer arms were brought in for 2022 to pair with eight freshman pitchers. Of the transfer pitchers, LHP Peyton Reesman (Seton Hill), LHP Luke VonGoedert (Everett CC), and RHP William Flanagan (Bridgewater) should be instant contributors.

2022 Projected Record: 17-35 (10-14)

NCAA Tournament Bound?: No