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Centre baseball 2018 season preview

Centre baseball 2018 season preview

DANVILLE, Ky. – Under second-year head coach Drew Briese, Centre baseball opens the 2018 campaign this weekend on the road against LaGrange.

The Colonels finished 18-22 a season ago, trending in the right direction with the most wins since going 20-17 in 2008. Centre is aiming for the program's first winning season in that same span and third since the turn of the century.

Centre returns much of its production at the plate, though, losing just 21 percent of its hits and 26 percent of its runs scored from a season ago to graduation.

Junior Drew Schacht (Lexington, Ky.) figures to be one of the Colonels' best bats once again, having earned consecutive All-Southern Athletic Association (SAA) nods as well as 2015 SAA Newcomer of the Year honors. He hit .389 as a sophomore in 2017, ranking 12th in NCAA Division III with a .540 on-base percentage.

Sophomores Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.), Seth Hagan (Goshen, Ky.), Parker Selin (Lexington, Ky.) and Matt LaPoint (Freeport, Maine) look to build on promising rookie seasons, each starting at least 28 games and logging at least 88 at-bats in 2017.

On the mound, junior Nick Hoffman (Louisville, Ky.) was named All-SAA Second Team after leading the pitching staff with 48 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched. The righty started 11 games overall, compiling a 4.63 ERA and 4-3 record.

Centre opens its home slate next Wednesday with a mid-week game against Maryville at 5 p.m. ET, and will step into SAA action Feb. 24 at Hendrix.