We did it, everybody, we did it. We made it to baseball season. At the MLB level, pitchers and catchers are reporting; at the college level, they're about to start playing games that count. NC State opens its promising season against Old Dominion on Friday afternoon.
The Wolfpack has received plenty of preseason attention, with rankings in multiple polls. Baseball America has State at No. 19 heading into the year, which is terribly pessimistic, WRITE THEM LETTERS. Okay, no, it's really fine. Hold off on the letters. BA's Jim Shonerd wrote a nice preview of the Pack last month. Here's Avent on the lineup, from that Shonerd piece:
"Everybody in our lineup has a chance to show some power," Avent said. "But it's about scoring runs. Power is important, and it's always that threat. But it's more about when you show your power. It's about getting the big hits, the two-out hits."
If Joe Dunand (SS) turns a corner at the plate, NC State's offense has the potential to be really good. The pitching staff is going to be good. The depth and versatility of the roster, if fully realized, will give Avent the best team he's had since the 2013 College World Series team. It doesn't feel like they're that far off from that World Series benchmark. I'm ready to see how much these guys can do.
This is gonna be fun.