Edward Waters Baseball Set To Bounce Back In 2020




Edward Waters Sports Information


Jacksonville, Florida – Renovations to their home ballpark, a new clubhouse, and solid additions to an already stacked roster give cause for optimism for the 2020 edition of the Edward Waters baseball program.

Beginning his ninth season at the helm of the program, Head Coach Reginald Johnson, II spoke glowingly about the upward trajectory of this years squad that returns seven of nine starters and 22 players from last season and looks to improve from their 27-35 record. “We look forward to this season with getting some key guys back from injury with (Damani) Thomas (who returns after sitting out last season due to NAIA Eligibility)  in the outfield, (Joseph) Eischen, a big bat and an arm, and Freddy Torres who led us offensively up until his season ending knee injury.” “We also needed to address some of the downfalls from last season, with pitching and behind the dish. We’ve gotten better talent wise and with depth, so 2020 is going to be a great year for EWC.”

Statistically, Edward Waters finished 2019, batting .310 (34th in the NAIA) with 336 RBI (41st in the NAIA), 386 total runs (40th in the NAIA) and 28 home runs. Nationally, they ranked 30th in total hits with 555, 30th in total doubles with 107, and 30th in total at bats with 1,793. Junior infielder and leadoff hitter Arnie Ruiz returns as the teams leader in batting average, batting .341 with 36 runs scored, 29 RBI’s, and a team high 11 stolen bases in 48 games played. In 25 apperances prior to his injury, Torres batted .378 with 32 RBIs and a team high six homeruns, while Eischen hit .320 with five homers and 33 RBIs.

On the mound, the Tigers return four starters and a bullpen that has the potential to be dominant this season. As a staff in 2019, had a 6.40 ERA with 220 strikeouts. Senior pitcher Manuel Guerra led Edward Waters on the mound in 2019 with a 4.89 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched and a team high 40 strikeouts. Junior Cody Melton was the squads leader in saves, recording three saves with a 3.19 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

“The goal of our program is to win a national championship.” Johnson added. “We’ve got some nationally ranked teams that we’re facing this season and if we take care of business like we expect to, I know we can achieve that goal.”

Edward Waters was selected as the 10th ranked HBCU small college baseball program according to Black College Nines, the premier baseball website dedicated to their coverage of HBCU baseball. The Purpe & Orange will open the 2020 season with a four-game series against the Rams of Bluefield College starting on Friday, January 31st at 5:00pm at the newly renovated James P. Small Memorial Baseball Park.

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