2019 Baseball Season Preview

2019 Baseball Season Preview
The Oglethorpe baseball team returns this evening as they'll get their regular season started with an in-state game against the Covenant Scots at 4 p.m. on Anderson Field. They'll then make a return trip up Lookout Mountain on Saturday to play Covenant in a doubleheader.
The Stormy Petrels return 30 players from the 2018 team which finished the season with a 24-18 mark and a 12-9 record in SAA play, good enough for third place in the league and their highest-ever SAA finish. They'll also welcome 19 newcomers to the fold with a mix of freshmen and transfers entering the fray and trying to vault the team to new heights in 2019.
Senior infielder Andrew Mink earned All-South Region first team honors from D3baseball.com in 2018 while also taking home All-SAA first team accolades for the second consecutive season. Senior Dylan Leonard, junior Sam Held and sophomore Alex Featherstone all saw significant action on the infield in 2018 and will all return for 2019, with senior Johnathan Feibus providing experience along with sophomore Jeffrey Hiner. Fellow sophomores Ian Wilson and Jordan Small will also figure in as part of the infield, as will junior newcomer Austin Jackson and freshmen Andrew Noack, Daniel Southern and Billy Finch.
The Petrels have lots of returning experience at pitcher, with junior Jack Bartlewski coming back after earning All-SAA first team honors for his work as the team's closer in 2018. He'll be joined on the pitching staff by senior Kyle Babb, who earned All-SAA second team honors in 2018. Sophomores Noah Cole and Christopher Keane also return to the team, having served as essential parts of the rotation and bullpen, respectively, over the course of the 2018 season. Seniors Caleb Feibus, Zach Kazerooni and Tristen Powell return to the fold, as do juniors Jackson Harrell and Kyle Blakeney, as well as sophomores Devlin Basinger, Kyle Maxwell and Reddon McLaurine
Senior Patrick Burnette returns to anchor the Petrel outfield. He earned All-SAA second team honors in 2018, and is part of a group that features Ethan Edwards, Sam Buchanan, Michael Talaga and Christian Perez, as well as transfers Jacob Gassert and Shota Barbeau. Three incoming freshmen will also add to the depth at the position.
Sophomore Alec Babb returns as the team's starting catcher, and he enjoyed an outstanding freshman season. Junior Dylan Childress returns, as well, with sophomore Cory DeLair and incoming freshmen Jevon Lewis and Rajan Sampat.
The schedule will be challenging once again, with 21 games in the rough-and-tumble SAA and a very competitive non-conference slate. No. 8 Cortland (who received three first-place votes in the D3baseball.com preseason poll), No. 13 Christopher Newport and No. 24 Rhodes will all visit Anderson Field, as will Adrian, Piedmont and Case Western Reserve, all of whom received votes in the preseason poll. The Petrels will play home-and-home with Piedmont, and will also visit Berry, another team receiving votes, for a three-game SAA series.
Oglethorpe starts their season with three games against Covenant, then visits Piedmont on Feb. 13. After that, they'll settle in for a long series of home games, hosting Christopher Newport, Pacific Lutheran, George Fox, Washington and Lee, Rhodes, Emory, Case Western Reserve and Piedmont before finally hitting the road again to face Sewanee in SAA play in mid-March. 
The Petrels host Rhodes, Centre and Hendrix in SAA play while traveling to Sewanee, Berry, Birmingham-Southern and Millsaps.