BY EMMA PRESBERG – STAFF WRITER
After completing their first 10 games, Centre Baseball sits at an impressive 8-2. This includes sweeping both Coast Guard and Defiance while splitting their recent series against Whitman.
The program is off to their best start in 25 seasons, when the Colonels won their first 11 games in 1992. With a new coach at the helm, the Colonels look to continue their success and improve on their 17-25 record from last season.
Their new head coach, Drew Briese, a 2000 Centre graduate, returns to Danville after coaching for SAA rivals Birmingham Southern. Along with a very successful coaching stint at Birmingham Southern, Briese serves as a coach for USA Baseball and will travel to Iwaki, Japan this August as the U15 National Team Assistant Coach.
“It’s never easy to transition between coaches,” says senior pitcher and first baseman, Trevor Brewer. “However, Coach Briese, Arndt, Cooper, and Gant have done an amazing job creating a unified strategy that they push us to stick to day in and day out.”
Brewer continued, “When a team has a clear goal and everyone is willing to work their hardest for it…the results will come.”
Brewer has played in five of the first 10 games of the season and has been up to bat three times.
Also commenting on the new coach was first year standout Seth Hagan, “Our new coach…has led this team with authority, but with a constructive care for how we develop as a team on and off the field. That is the main reason why our team has become so successful so far. We knew from day one he meant all business, and we better work our butts off because he won’t settle for average.”
Hagan added, “This experience has taught me to stay humble, and continue working even harder because I feel like my full potential is not even close to being reached…But the hard work is paying off for me, and the whole team. This season is looking promising– as long as we continue to give it our all everyday.”
As a first baseman, Hagan has played in all 10 games of the season, batting with a .441 average in 34 plate appearances. In addition Hagan has one homerun with 10 runs batted in. Hagan has been on of the colonel’s top performers and earned SAA Player of the Week after the first series of the season.
Hagan is not wrong by suggesting the team’s hard work is paying off. With a total of 89 runs so far this season, the results have certainly come.
The Colonels won their first three games against Coast Guard with a combined run score of 39-5. This was followed up with 10-6, 6-1, and 14-4 victories against Defiance. A trip to Seattle, Washington found the Colonels in a four-game series against Whitman at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. The Colonels took away two wins, 4-2 and 10-7, along with their first two losses of the season, 3-1 and 11-5.
Outscoring their opponents by 50 points, the Colonels have a combined batting average of .299 and an on base percentage of .410.
Sophomore pitcher Drew Schacht has begun his 2017 campaign strong, tallying 14 hits and six RBIs on the season, with a batting average of .412. He also leads the way for the Colonel’s pitching staff, with 13 strikeouts and an earned runs average (ERA) of 2.50.
Altogether, the pitching staff has an ERA of .340 and has pitched one shutout so far this season.
These continuous efforts are reflected in the D3baseball.com’s top 25, where the Colonels have received votes to be ranked.
The team will continue the season with an away series to start conference play against Berry on March 11 and 12.