The baseball team at California Baptist University has been steadily moving through the ranks with an overall record of 27-7.
Many returning players continue to be staples on the team, but some fresh faces from the deep roster of freshmen and sophomores have contributed to the success of the team as well.
With eight seniors graduating and a few hoping to be drafted, there are many spots opening up on the field next year for starting positions.
Gary Adcock, head coach of the team, said the fresh faces have impacted the season, growing as players daily.
Up-and-coming starters on the pitching mound include Justin Montgomery, freshman mechanical engineering major and pitcher; Seth Kaneen, freshman sociology major and pitcher; Travis Booth, sophomore criminal justice major and pitcher; and Vini Haro, freshman undeclared major and pitcher.
“When I think of up-and-comers, I think of men replacing what we already have. All of these men are going to have to replace the 220 innings that our current starters are throwing,” Adcock said. “They are getting a little bit of that now with some spot starts and relief appearances, but if we’re going to be good this year and next year, those men will have to step up.”
Booth holds a 1.19 era in 30.1 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts and is holding opposing teams to a batting average of .212.
“Booth threw in relief last year, started off as our closer this year, and now he’s our fourth starter,” Adcock said. “He’s become significantly better.”
Booth said his performance has grown tremendously throughout the season.
“At the beginning of the year I was used as more of a traditional closer, then it got to games where I would come in the fourth or fifth,” Booth said. “All season we didn’t have a defined fourth starter. What’s helped me to get to this position are the men in the bullpen filling in spots and stepping up in their roles.”
As for the position players, Adcock said he expects big things from a handful of young players.
Sheldon Borson, freshman undeclared major and second baseman; Kyle Oyama, freshman undeclared major and second baseman; Michael Mora, freshman business major and outfielder; Derek Escobar, freshman criminal justice major and infielder; Bryce Macy, sophomore criminal justice major and catcher; Ryan Williams, sophomore kinesiology major and outfielder; and DJ Porter, sophomore journalism and new media major and outfielder; are all looking to improve their game in hopes of making a stronger impact on future seasons.
Adcock said he expects nothing less than one hundred percent from each of his athletes.
“Position player wise, it’s all those guys; we’re going to need key contributions from them when the seniors leave,” Adcock said.
Bryce Macy, sophomore criminal justice major and catcher, appeared in 23 games with nine starts, posted a .406 on-base percentage, and had a perfect fielding percentage in 110 opportunities last season. Macy is currently batting .383 in the 22 games that he has played and is still logging a perfect fielding percentage.
“Bryce has given us the ability to allow us to DH Mark Sanchez, (redshirt junior criminal justice major and catcher), because we trust Bryce in his ability to defend and swing the bat,“ Adcock said.
Adcock said he has big expectations for Williams and Porter.
Williams said he and Porter play each game with intensity to fuel the energy of the team.
“We are the adrenaline men,” Williams said. “We come in to give a boost of energy. When we get in we swing hard. We are the men who will run through the wall.”