Harris Stowe State Looks To Start 2018 Season Hot In Texas This Weekend

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Harris Stowe State Sports Information

 

SAINT LOUIS, MO – The 2018 Harris-Stowe Hornets Baseball team will open up this weekend in Tyler, Texas as they will take on Texas College in a double header Friday and Jarvis Christian College in a double header Saturday.  The Hornets are coming off of a 30-20 season while finishing fourth in the American Midwest Conference.  HSSU will be returning five members of the offense who hit .300 or over last season and the pitching staff will have the most depth in recent memory. Head coach CJ Bilbrey sat down and gave his take on the strengths of his team around the field..

Catchers

The catching group has four new members this season.  Junior captain Ty Haston (JR/Clarksville, TN) has transitioned from third base this season and will be catching for the first time this season. Nick Blomgren has transferred to Harris-Stowe from Northern Illinois University.  Harrison Leon and Josh Mosley also be in the mix this season. Head Coach CJ Bilbrey said, “This is a very hard working group. Ty has done a great job moving behind the plate and Nick was a big pickup for us defensively. Josh Mosley is a freshman who has a ton of upside and will one day contribute. Harrison is a great team guy who will see time off the bench for his bat.”

Firstbase

Leobardo Saldivar returns this season for his senior season. Saldivar hit .370 last season with 6 homeruns and a team leading 46 RBI. Greg Carter (SR/Inglewood,CA) will split between the outfield and Firstbase. Carter hit .300 with a .388 on base percentage. Bilbrey on Carter: “Greg had an awesome fall and it has carried over this preseason. Leo has been one of the most consistent guys in our program since he stepped on campus. We are looking forward to seeing what both of these guys will do this season.”

Secondbase

Secondbase will be a platoon spot as the Hornets carry three guys who all bring something different to the position. Tony Montano (SR/San Jose, CA) will split time between the infield and the outfield. Brendan Claus(SO/Wentzville, MO) is capable of playing every spot on the field and transfer Kenny Lara provides a middle of the order type bat that can also DH. Bilbrey’s thoughts: “This group is our most versatile. Tony is not only an elite defender at second base but he is also one of the best defenders in center field in our league. Claus led the team in hitting this fall and has made great strides to have a more impactful role on the team this season. Kenny showed very early in the fall that his bat will have to stay in the lineup. ”

Shortstop

PJ Roberts (SR/Watts, CA) will begin his second season as the starter for the Hornets in 2018. Roberts stole 25 bases last season and played reliable defense.  Freshman Luke Lampros and Will Biggs also seen time there in the fall. “PJ had a great fall developing into one of the leaders of this team. He did a great job with two rookies next to him every day. He also dedicated himself to the weight room and it has shown with him swinging the bat. I expect him to be an all-conference guy for us this spring.”

Thirdbase

Jared Corbett (SR/St. Louis, MO) returns but will take on a utility role with the team this season. Transfer Cole Danielson will be the starter for the Hornets. “Jared is one of the best defensive players on this team regardless of the positon we play him. He took reps this fall at third, Firstbase, outfield and he was a starting shortstop at his junior college just two seasons ago. Cole had an impressive fall and with his defensive capabilities we were comfortable moving Corbett to a utility role.”

Outfield

The Hornets will have an outfield that’s full of depth and does not lack speed or power. The outfield will have Montano, Corbett and Carter switching from both the infield and the outfield. The outfield will also have newcomers Eddie McDaniels and freshman Kyel Alexander. Chase Goldwater will also see time out there when he is not pitching for the Hornets. Bilbrey stated, “This group has a little bit of everything that you would like from your outfield. We have a few guys who can add pop to the lineup but we also have a couple guys who can fly. All of them are average to above average in their spots.”

Pitchers

The rotation will welcome back two rotation starters from last season in Steven Kemp (JR/O’Fallon, Mo) and Stephen Wells (JR/Orlando, FL).  Wells has served as the opening day starter for each of the past two seasons and will do so again this weekend. Kemp who won 9 games last season has seen his velocity jump this fall and get to full strength after missing the 2016 season. The Hornets welcome in Alec Hutt from Southern Nevada and Tanner Disibio from Faulkner University who finished last season #2 in NAIA Baseball. The bullpen will have HBCU All-Elite closer Tyler Boles (JR/Clarksville, TN) returning.  Bailey Owen (SR/San Jose, CA), Wes Davis, and Nick Ferraro(SR/Kansas City, MO) will see big innings this spring relieving a very high ceiling rotation that has depth. Bilbrey praised Pitching Coach Travis Tingle on his work with the atheltes in the offseason; “Pitching Coach Travis Tinglehas done a great job this season with these guys. The work this group has put in has been very satisfying to watch. This is the most depth for a staff I have been a part of in 11 seasons coaching college baseball.”

The Hornets will kick off the 2018 season on Friday afternoon at Texas College and continue their trip in the south at Jarvis Christian College on Saturday. Be sure to check back at hornetsathletics.com this weekend for news and scores from both series.

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