SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Presbyterian College baseball team begins the 2013 season on Friday, traveling to Savannah State for a doubleheader that will kick off a four-game series against the Tigers. This season marks the 25th in modern program history with the return of baseball in 1988.
The campaign begins with a Friday doubleheader that begins at Tiger Stadium at 3 p.m. PC then stays for the weekend, playing on Saturday at 12 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Blue Hose will send three veterans and one freshman to the mound this weekend, beginning with sophomore lefthander Beau Dees (Blenheim, S.C.) in Friday’s opening game. Junior righthander Chandler Knox (Columbia, S.C.) takes the second half of the twin bill before junior Bud Jeter (Columbia, S.C.) gets the start on Saturday. The trio combined for 11 wins last season, led by Knox’s career-best 5-2 record. Freshman Brett Byrum (Rowlett, Texas) will make his collegiate debut with the start on Sunday.
Elton Pollock returns for his ninth year at the helm of the Blue Hose. The 1995 PC graduate had led PC to its best Division I seasons in 2011 and 2012, capturing 24 wins during each campaign. Josh Davis enters his third year as an assistant coach while Mark Crocco and PC alum Jeff Tatum join the staff as assistants as well.
The Blue Hose went 24-31 in 2012 with a 10-14 Big South Conference record. The team sees seven starting position players returning in Billy Motroni (Goose Creek, S.C.), Jay Lizanich (Greer, S.C.), Nathan Chong (Duluth, Ga.), Robby Swab (Kernersville, N.C.), Preston, Paul and Zebedis. Four starting pitchers return in Chad White (Suwanee, Ga.) along with Dees, Jeter and Knox. PC returns a total of 17 letterwinners back in all, with nine position players and eight pitchers, while welcoming 13 newcomers.
Motroni and Lizanich ranked second and third on the team in hits last season, racking up 61 and 51, respectively. The team will look to plug holes on the offensive side, returning 112 of 215 of the team’s RBI total and 15 of PC’s 35 home runs last season. The pitching staff brings back 75 percent of the team’s wins, however, with 18 of the team’s 24 victories.
Savannah State finished with a 19-34 record last season, bolstered by an even 12-12 marker at home. The Tigers return 14 lettermen and five starters while bringing in 20 newcomers to the program. PC’s four games kick off an eight-game homestand for Savannah State as the squad welcomes Alabama A&M for a four-game series next weekend. Carlton Hardy enters his eighth season as head coach, holding a 178-176 record at the school.
In Baseball America’s Big South preview, the organization tabs Zebedis (fifth) and Knox (ninth) on its list of top prospects for the 2013-14 Major League Baseball drafts.
PC was predicted to finished 10th overall in the Big South Conference and sixth in the South Division in an annual poll of league coaches. PC garnered 26 points, two shy of UNC Asheville in the South Divisions. The team’s point total puts them ahead of North Division members VMI (22) and Longwood (16). The Blue Hose also captured a second-place vote and a third-place vote in the division.
Following this weekend’s road swing at Savannah State, the Blue Hose make the short trip to USC Upstate for a Wednesday, February 20 date in Spartanburg. First pitch at Harley Park is slated for 4 p.m.
Click the play button on the team picture above or in the “Related Links” box to watch a season preview video featuring interviews with Knox, Morris, Paul, Preston, Zebedis and Coach Pollock.