COLLEGE BASEBALL: Cavaliers set to start 2019 season
The ground is still frozen many mornings, and remaining traces of snow piles linger on in parking lot corners across, the area, but for the Kankakee Community College baseball team, spring has arrived.
The Cavaliers are set to open their season on Friday at Logan College in Carterville before heading to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for their annual trip, which features nine games in six days this year.
“We feel like we are as prepared as possible after practicing indoors at House of Sportz,” coach Todd Post said. “We are looking forward to facing an opponent other than ourselves after four-plus weeks of cage games inside.”
Sophomores Nick Crowe and Will Wentz are back on the bump for the Cavaliers in the starting rotation, where they will be joined by a plethora of freshmen.
Despite the youth on the mound, Post anticipates the pitching to be the Cavaliers’ key to early-season success, along with the defense behind them.
“Consistent pitching and defense are the focus early in the season and will be keys to getting off to a good start,” Post said.
While the Cavaliers will have a young pitching staff, the middle of their lineup figures to be bolstered in the middle with talented sophomore experience.
Outfielder Dyaln Post (.295 batting average, 31 RBIs, 15 extra-base hits, 15 stolen bases) is back to man the outfield, while utility infielder Wade Rankin (.455 batting average, 21 RBIs, 12 extra-base hits, six stolen bases) and first-baseman Cristian Burciaga (.315 batting average, 37 RBIs, 12 extra-base hits) are back in the infield.
And the Cavaliers’ young staff will have a veteran backstop, with sophomore catcher Jett McGowan back to improve upon his .308 batting average and 24 RBIs.
According to Post, the goals for the Cavaliers this season are no different than any other season.
“We continue to have the same goals for our program, which include preparing our players academically and athletically to be successful at (a) four-year, compete for a Region IV Championship and win 40 games each season,” Post said.