FOREST, VA-The Hampden-Sydney baseball team has been picked seventh in the annual Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Baseball Preseason Poll. Randolph-Macon has been picked to repeat, with Shenandoah and Washington & Lee being picked second and third, respectively.
The Tigers are coming off a season in which they went 28-15 overall and 12-8 in conference play, and made a strong run in the ODAC Tournament reaching the championship game.
The team, with 14th year head coach Jeff Kinne back at the helm, returns 23 players from last season.
Included in the returners are the entire outfield of Brian Goodwyn (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale), Moe Gothe (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale), Cody Smith (Bristol, VA/Virginia HS), and Dustin Wiles (Belmont, NC/South Point). Goodwyn headlined the crew being named the ODAC Rookie of the Year to go with a Second Team All-ODAC nod.
First baseman Tyler Blevins (Draper, VA/Pulaski) and third baseman Jacob Fontana (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) will anchor the corners of the infield, and Ryan Peevey (Wirtz, VA/Franklin) brings considerable experience behind the plate.
Though the Tigers lost key pitchers Reggie Johnson, Teddy West, Dylan Gonzales, and Josh Blair, the team does see Zach Perkins (Appomattox, VA/Appomattox), Trey Celata (Chesapeake, VA/Atlantic Shores Christian), Matthew Metheny (New Kent, VA/New Kent), and Jimmy Butler (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry) all return to the bump.
The Tigers will open their season on Thursday, February 16 as they travel to Newport News to face the Captains of Christopher Newport University. First pitch is slated for 2:00 PM.
2017 ODAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Randolph-Macon (5) 91 pts.
2. Shenandoah (3) 89 pts.
3. Washington and Lee (3) 80 pts.
4. Virginia Wesleyan 79 pts.
5. Bridgewater 59 pts.
6. Roanoke 57 pts.
7. Hampden-Sydney 55 pts.
8. Eastern Mennonite 31 pts.
9. Guilford 30 pts.
10. Emory & Henry 18 pts.
11. Lynchburg 16 pts.