The Meridian Community College baseball team is heading into the 2019 season with a lot to look forward to. Coming off a 39-13 season and runner up finish in Region 23 the Eagles are looking to take the next step. The Eagles enter the 2019 season with experience all over the roster and a preseason number 4 national ranking to go with it.
Pitching will be a strength for the Eagles during the 2019 season. The Eagles return five pitchers who saw time on the mound during the 2018 campaign. They combined to pitch over 200 innings last season. These five pitchers are David Dunn, Luke Wallner, Keegan Westbrook, Jackson Bridges, and Tyler Lantz. In addition to these pitchers, 2017 starter Briar Russell will be returning to the mound coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the 2018 season. Two newcomers are also expected to contribute to the pitching rotation. Freshman Braden Forsyth and Sophomore transfer Luke Files will get an opportunity on the mound. Files comes to MCC from Hinds Community College where he made 14 appearances last season.
In addition to the returning experience on the mound, the Eagles will return three position players as well. Keegan Westbrook, Houston Parker, and Mack Pickering all return for the Eagles. Parker will start the season at third base after seeing some time at catcher last season. Freshman Colton Hipp will start the season at shortstop, while freshman Kace Garner is expected to start the season at catcher.
With all this experience returning expectations are high for the Eagles, but Head Coach Dillon Sudduth wants the team to focus on the day to day details. “Our goal is to win a national championship, but what we are really emphasizing is taking care of today, focus on today’s practice, today’s game, just try to get better each day. Then we will look up at the end of the season and see where we are,” said Sudduth.
The Eagles will get the season started Monday, February 11 at Spring Hill College. The Eagles will return to Scaggs Field for their first home game of the season Saturday, February 16 against Jefferson College. Fans will have plenty of chances to watch the Eagles at home as they will host 22 home games this season. All home games will be streamed on mcceagles.com/live.