NC State baseball opens its 2015 season this weekend at Doak Field with a three-game variety pack of foes. On Friday afternoon, the Pack hosts Villanova, followed by Davidson on Saturday, and UNC-Wilmington on Sunday. Elliott Avent has been meeting with the media this week to discuss this year's squad, which is going to look a whole lot different.
WRAL has video from a Q&A session that you can watch right here. Avent makes it clear that there is a lot to be settled still, and that includes the weekend rotation. At this point, he's going with sophomore Cory Wilder on Friday and freshman Evan Mendoza on Saturday. Wilder pitched 9-1/3 innings last season, and true to his name, averaged more than a walk per IP.
The Pack unfortunately is already fighting the injury bug, with vets Logan Ratledge and Jake Fincher rehabbing muscle strains. It doesn't sound like those two will be in the lineup to begin the season, though Avent said he intends to have Ratledge in the leadoff spot once he's healthy.
Maybe the most interesting offseason news is Andrew Knizner's move from third base to catcher. Knizner, who was one of State's top hitters in 2014, has never played catcher before. Fortunately, learning how to play catcher is real easy. Tell 'em, Wash.
Right, well uh, let's hope that works out okay, and that it doesn't affect Knizner's bat too much. Generally you don't see players moving left to right on the defensive spectrum, but it's early enough in Knizner's career to make it feasible. It could also boost his draft stock considerably, when the time comes.