Baseball: Pomona-Pitzer Season Preview

Baseball: Pomona-Pitzer Season Preview

CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team is set to begin 2019 as they open their season at home against non-conference opponent Puget Sound.

Last Season:  The Sagehens finished 22-19 overall and went 12-12 in conference play, which earned them a trip to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.  Pomona-Pitzer fell in both games during the tournament and ended the year in fourth place in the SCIAC.

Returners:  The Sagehens return both All-West players from a season ago in junior outfielder Brian Knapp and junior shortstop Nolan McCafferty. McCafferty ended the season with a .351 batting average with a team-high 61 hits. He tallied 30 RBI last season and tied for the most runs scored on the team with 38.  Knapp helped lead the offense for the Sagehens last season as he spent the majority of the year in the leadoff spot in the lineup. Knapp hit for a .340 average and led the Sagehens with eight home runs, 38 RBI and slugged .566.

Pomona-Pitzer has one senior returner this year in Andrew Phillips. Phillips appeared in 29 games last season and will see time in the outfield. He batted .229 a season ago with 20 runs scored and 10 RBI.

The Sagehens will rely on a strong junior class with 11 returners for this season. Jeremiah Quezada broke out in 2018 in the middle of the lineup for the Sagehens with a .329 average with five homeruns and 38 RBI. Jack Hanley and Jake Lialios will split catching duties this season. Hanley batted .377 last season in 19 games with 18 runs and 9 RBI while Lialios hit .161 in 12 games. Jeremy Jess rounds out the position players for the junior class. Jess will see time in the middle of the lineup this season after hitting .342 a season ago with 20 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Five arms return for the junior class. Among them is starter Tyler Yoshihara. Yoshihara will serve as the ace this season for the Sagehens. He tallied a 6-3 record last season while earning a spot on the All-SCIAC Second Team. He led the Sagehens with 75 strikeouts with a 4.08 ERA. Luka Green, Ethan Baer, Connor Woods and Trevor Walker will all see valuable time out of the pen for the Sagehens this year as well.

Pomona-Pitzer also has a large sophomore class with 10 players for the upcoming season. Ryan Long will look to open the season in the starting rotation while Brett Super, Luke Layton and Hunter Hennigh will provide the Sagehens will multiple options out of the bullpen in their second collegiate seasons.

The Sagehens have six position players in their sophomore class. Seth Stone ended his freshman season as the everyday third baseman and will open the 2019 at the hot corner as he batted .329 a season ago with 13 runs scored and 9 RBI.  Jake Patterson-Kohout will see time in the outfield this season along with William Choi and Michael Hill while Hennigh will work into the middle infield and Kyle Freeman seeing reps at first base and the designated hitter position.

Newcomers: The Sagehens welcome nine new faces with five pitchers and four position players. Gabe Garcia, Simon Heck, Joe Williams, Xavier Williams and sophomore transfer Lincoln Pantell will earn innings for the Sagehens throughout the season while Jack Damelio, Adrian Banales and Kevin Lo will work into the infield and Ryan Nishi will give the Sagehens depth behind the plate.

The Sagehens start 2019 on Friday, February 8th as they host non-conference opponent Puget Sound at 2:00 p.m.

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