Fall Ball Report: Norfolk State Baseball

Last year, Head Coach Keith Shumate felt confident that his Spartan club was poised to take a big step forward. He knew the Norfolk State baseball program had a lot to prove, but he was convinced that his roster belonged with the rest of the Northeast Conference (NEC) physically and athletically – an improvement from his first seasons as head coach in the conference.

As the fall ball season stacked up and the Spartans are setting the stage against the NEC when the 2024 season starts, the early returns could have big dividends.

Pitchers Dalton Barham, John Horton and Noah Wiggins had especially strong falls. Sophomore Donovan Whitfield and Mac Yarbrough showed growth from the previous year. Reliever Joe Lafave was impressive at controlling games. The coaching staff noted an especially big jump in development for Liam Royster.

The catching tandem of Manny Jackson and Brendan Burke logged innings behind the plate with support from Rob Beatty. Infielders who showed strong falls were Collin Curry, Swaroop Pujari, Cam Mazell and Camrin Sturgeon. Senior Raphy Rodriguez was solid at 2B.

Outfielders who stood out in the fall were Justin Journette, Jamal Ritter, and Jalan Davis. All three had big offensive days in inter-squad play.

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