2019 Team Previews

Chattanooga State     Cleveland State     Columbia State     Dyersburg State     Jackson State     Motlow State     Roane State   Southwest TN    Volunteer State     Walters State

Chattanooga State CC
Players to Watch
1. Sean Cheely CF Sean was 2nd Team All TCCAA last year and had a super fall this year.  Unbelievable athlete!!
2. Jordan Power RHP  Jordan was 1st Team All TCCAA last year and continues to improve his game this year!! 
3. Kyle Nunn LHP ( MTSU Commit ) Kyle struggled at times last year but has great stuff and has had a super fall season.
4. Brandon Parrott 1B/DH Brandon transferred from ETSU and shows a really good LH bat at the plate.
5. Ty Delancey 2B/3B  Ty had a very solid year last year and looks to have a spectacular one this spring!!  Switch Hitter with pop.
6. Noah Fitzgerald SS/RHP  Noah closed for us last year and played SS.  Has improved greatly and we are hoping to see him at his best.
7. Bailey Russell C/3B  Bailey came to us from Milligan and has shown really good ability at the plate and behind the plate.
8. Chris Tyler C/1B ( Erskine Commit )  Chris is just a super steady, solid leader and a guy that is the glue to our team.
9. Garrett Hartley LHP Garrett is a transfer from Milligan and has sneaky good stuff on the mound.
10. Landon Walker RHP Landon transferred here from Union University and shows great arm strength on the mound.

We finally have a great mixture of Freshmen and Sophomores this year and are looking to be more competitive on a week-to-week basis.  We have a great blending of speed and power at the plate.  We have a bunch of switch-hitters and left-handed hitters so it should be interesting to see the match ups we have.  On the mound, we have good arms that should be competitive and bring solid stuff.
Offense: We think we have the chance to have the best and most diverse offense that we have had here in 16 years.  We have some really solid guys that can bring a ton of different dimensions to the plate.  Sean Cheely, Branson Bowling, Nick Blubaugh are three guys that can hit from the left side and run really well.  Ty Delancey, Bass Cooper, Jacob Holton and Brandon Parrott are three that can all go from the left side and show power. The options we have are solid and hopefully, we can get off to a good start and build some confidence early.
Defense: Our defense should be okay as we are more seasoned in the field with a number of Sophomores starting.  We are strong in the infield with 3 guys back that started a lot and in the outfield we have Cheely back who is outstanding.  Behind the plate is a 3-way battle between Russell, Tyler and (Fr.) Jordan Heath.  All-in-all we feel good about the development in the field and the opportunity to have a really strong, athletic bunch.
Pitching:On the mound is an area that we, again, feel good about.  We return two conference starters in Jordan Power and Kyle Nunn.  Both have the ability to really give teams problems with solid stuff and a good feel.  Zach Mann is returning and has made great strides as has also Bryce Woody.  Landon Walker, Garrett Hartley and Tanner Moylan are guys that have shown really well during the fall and early spring.  Freshmen Malachi Griggs, Jacob McCoy, Chris Pfeifer and Ronnie Piepmeier have shown they are good enough to get work early and hopefully, create a roll for themselves.
Overall outlook: We are excited about the prospects for our 2019 and feel that we have a well-balanced, talented club that should go out and compete against a tough conference and non-conference schedule.  We see Nationally Ranked Georgia Highlands and Sinclair CC in the first couple of weeks and that should help give us a good litmus test as to where we are early before the rigors of the TCCAA schedule begins.
Cleveland State CC
Players to Watch
1 Rhett Baldwin 3B returner hit .320 with 9 2B and 17 rbi in 36 games. Has the ability to be a middle of the order hitter.
2 Parker Hill, SS transfer from Wofford, athletic player who runs well with good instincts and is solid defensively, top of the order hitter
3 Lance Dockery LF athletic player who runs and defends well. Offensively, can provide punch at the top of the line-up
4 Johnny Hickman RF/RHP two way player who transferred in at the break, will grab a starting of position as well as see time on the mound
5 Marcial Hernandez, C/ 1B athletic player with power who should settle in the middle of the line-up and be able to be a run producer.
6 Ryan Inches LHP won 6 games last year, has a 3 pitch mix who could pitch on the weekend.

Going into the 2019 season we have a roster that has turned over from the previous season. With that, there are a lot of questions as we look forward to the upcoming season. As it always starts on the mound, we have two returning pitchers from last years staff so we have had to remake our pitching rotation. We have battled injuries and a few defections this fall. As we get healthy and start getting guys back I feel we can have a competitive staff that will give us a chance. Offensively, we lost most of our line-up for last year. We have had to remake just about every position. I feel we have a good balance of speed and power, we need to continue to grow as hitters and be able to make the in game adjustments. Also, continue to understand the importance of situational hitting.
Defensively, we should be solid up the middle and able to make the routine plays. We are going to need to be really good defensively to help and help our pitching staff. We enter the seasons with a lot of questions, our success will depend on how are young players grow throughout the season. We will need freshman to be able to contribute on the mound. Offensively, our line-up will need to be consistent and make the routine plays to keep pressure off our pitching staff. We look forward to the season and the challenges it will bring.

Columbia State CC

Players to Watch

C        Alex Carignan          Middle of our order bat. 314/8/0/8/33 1.050 OPS. Tremendous throwing tool. Cornerstone for us.

1B      Daniel Freeman        Great defender. 320/13/1/7/43 Will play big role on mound as well. MTSU signee.

2B      Zach Sharber           Healthy now and hit over .300 as a freshman.

SS      Dorian Berry            Hit .380 as a freshman.  Top of the order guy. Needs to be a spark for us.

3B      Justin Carlin             WKU signee.  373/13/2/6 with a 1.100 OPS. Will also play some OF.

OF      Adarius Pugh           Should patrol CF for us.  Need big things from him.  Union University signee.

UTL     Hayden Locum         Super versatile player with size.  Will catch and play the corner INF.

LHP     Luis Rodriguez         Leaps and bounds improvement.  Will play a major role.   

RHP    Shawn DeAngelo      Workhorse for us as a freshman with 21 appearances. Has been in the fire.

Offense: We will be more of the typical Columbia offense in contrast to the 2018 bunch who rattled the fences a little.  We will rely on our speed and pressure style of play.  We do have a great core group returning who were highly productive as freshman.  With the addition of a couple of offensive transfers, and spark plug type freshman, we should have a nice balanced attack. If we can resist the Twitter World’s enamored view of fly balls and strike outs, we should have enough pieces to compete at this level.  We if fall to the temptation of over elevated swing paths and an out is an out mentality, we will lose our identity and really struggle.
Defense: This area was a concern for us coming into the fall.  After a semester of tuning and repetitions, we are seeing the light at the end of tunnel so far this spring.  We have shown some quality decision making in our pre-season intrasquads.  Physical mistakes will happen early with how we want to throw the ball around and be aggressive. We just need to weather the storm here in February until the cogs get nice a greased.  We should be excellent behind the dish and in the outfield.  If we can make the routine and turn the double play in the infield, we could end up being a quality defensive unit.
Pitching: This is an area in which we are greatly improved from a year ago.  We feel as if this is one of most complete staffs we have fielded in the last 10 years.  We may not have that 12 game winner as we did in 2014, but we can go down the line a little further with some different looks.  We will rely heavily on our freshman class but they have shown the ability to pitch at this level all fall.  A great mix of arm strength, pitchability and off speed.
Overall Outlook: We are excited like everyone else to kick off another competitive TCCAA campaign.  We will be tested early with the likes of #14 Wallace, #1 Chipola and PG#1 Wabash in the first couple of weeks. On top of those juggernauts, the Chargers will match up with a talented Snead, Southern Union, conference rival Jackson State and D2 powerhouse NW Mississippi.  All of this before opening up against a facelifted, hungry Dyersburg crew on the first weekend of March.  Our key to being competitive will yet again be a simple formula…throw strikes and put the ball in play.  This sounds rudimentary and dull but our success is a little more dependent on these two critical components than a team that leaves the yard and piles up strikeouts on the bump.  Hit it somewhere and run fast…throw it over the plate and make them hit it far…if we do these things, the Chargers will again be a competitive ball club in 2019.

Dyersburg State CC
Players to Watch
1 Blake McCutchen, returning SS, hit over .400 last year
2 Seth Wyse, LHP, was 9-1 in 2017

Offense: We should be solid offensively up and down the line-up.  We have some speed that can make a big difference when they get on base.  I think the biggest key for success is for us to play team baseball.
Defense: We are as athletic as we have ever been at most positions.  We have some really good depth, which has been an issue the past few seasons.
Pitching: I like our staff!  We don't have any overpowering arms, but multiple guys that will fill up the strike zone.
Overall Outlook: We lost 8 starters and our entire weekend rotation from 2018, so pretty much everyone on our roster is new.  We have a hard working group of guys which is always nice to see.  We brought in 8 new guys at the break, so hopefully they will give us a boost....we are going into the season basically blind, but there is a lot of athleticism throughout the roster.
Jackson State CC
Players to Watch
1 Alex DeRiggi (Lincoln Memorial Univ)- Big, physical 3b with a lot of power.  Was having a great year last year before a season ending injury early on.
2 DJ Wright (Middle Tennessee State Univ)- dual guy that showed promise with both phases last year.  Hit for average and power and pitched a lot better than his numbers showed.  Still has not reached potential fully and still has some things to learn, but can't wait for him to do that.
3 Garrett Guymon (Union Univ)- Solid catcher who had a good year for us last year.  Hit for some power and at times carried us.  Fell off a bit at the end but expect more consistency this year.

Offense: Need to better than last year.  Need to have an identity.  We are physical and athletic, but need to play to that.  We still play too safe and are afraid to do big things.  Have some key guys returning (listed above), but are expecting big things from a number of freshmen who we are high on.  Other key guys to watch are Clark, Dunn, Reaves, Junker, Grier, Nichols, Simpson, and Barnes.  Have other young guys like Langham and Hudson who are on the verge of being really good.
Defense: Will be solid in some key positions and have some guys better known for their bat in others.  How they do, may determine other possibilities.
Pitching: Good depth and stuff on mound.  They have done a good job of creating an identity as a group.  They are excited to compete.  May need to limit contact more than usual.  Key sophomores to watch are Cole, Keiser, Boyle, Studd, Patsy, Junker, Blankenship, Gresham, and Mace.
Overall outlook: After last year, you question everything.  We have a lot to prove.  We feel like we are very talented, but need to see it before we praise it.

Motlow State CC
Players to Watch
1 Kobe Foster-LHP (Delta State)- returning all conference pitcher who was 8-2 with 4 saves last season
2 Logan Walters- RHP - returning all conference pitcher that was 7-2 a year ago
3 Dallas Bryan- RHP (Young Harris)- our top reliever that could also start for us. Had a productive summer and fall and is bigger and stronger
4 Dalton Wilder- RHP  Transfer from Alabama State where he was a conference starter as a freshman. Can start or relieve
5 Tyler Harmon-RHP Weekend starter for us last year that played a pivotal role for us
6 Josh Endicott-_LHP  Transfer from Cincinatti, 6'10" lefty that also plays basketball
7 Justin Parker- RHP  Returning sidearm relief pitcher that can be a guy that could pitch every day
8 Nathan Sanders- OF (MTSU)  Returning starting CF for us that had a very good fall
9 Stephen Cullen- INF  Transfer from Georgia State that will be a middle of the order bat
10 Sam Stohr- 1B/OF/LHP  Transfer from Montevallo that will be a middle of the order bat and help on the mound
11 Gunnar Ricketts- OF Transfer from The University of Tennessee with speed and power
12 Xavier Torres - SS Very good defender with plus speed

Offense: We are replacing almost every starter offensively from a team that hit almost 100 home runs last year.  We will be a different team this year with more team speed than we had last year.  We have to be a more consistent team offensively because we cannot rely on hitting multiple home runs in a game but we have some guys with power. As we mature, I expect to see a good mix of power and speed.
Defense: We have a lot of versatility and speed defensively so we can see several different looks as a team this year.  We have had some good competitions at numerous positions that will continue into the beginning of the season.  We have 2 catchers that can really throw so that will add another dimension to our team.
Pitching: We return almost every pitcher from last season and have added a few arms that will play significant roles.  If we stay healthy on the mound, this could be our strong point.  We have numerous guys that can play different roles for us as a staff. 
Overall outlook: With the exception of our pitching staff, we have a very new team.  We will have a lot of guys playing their first season of college baseball so we must play well defensively and pitch well, especially early on. 

Roane State CC
Players to Watch
SO Theron Powell OF uncommitted –
SO Cam Davis UTL - Uncommitted -
SO Josh Hayes INF - Uncommitted - 
SO Jake Patterson 1B - Uncommitted -
SO Jess Morrison OF - Uncommitted -
SO JT Mathews OF - Uncommitted
SO Peyton Milam C - Uncommitted - hard working guy behind the dish. Does all the little things right
FR Nick Spardone SS - Slick defender, with room to grow.
FR Kevin McCarthy 2B - gap year guy who played very little as a Senior at Farragut. Student of the game. Excited to see this kid play
FR Trea McLemore 1B - can pick it at 1st, carries some pop offensively
SO Koby Silvy RHP Uncommitted SO
SO Lincoln Bowman RHP Uncommitted SO weekend starter as a freshman.

Offense: We have a better 1-9 lineup than we have in the previous years. Looking forward to seeing these guys put it together.
Defense: Strongest phase of our team. Got some young talented guys up the middle, who will be an impact to how we play.
Pitching: by far our weakest link. we are soul searching to find out who wants to compete, who can throw strikes, and who wants the baseball. 
Overall outlook: We have a very young club so I'm sure we will have some expensive experiences this season. Looking for that SO leadership and looking to compete each and every weekend, if we cant pitch it, we will be hurting ducks, but like our chance if we can.

Southwest TN CC
Players to Watch
1 15 Chris Swanberg 3B (Sophomore)
2 27 Brayden Green RHP (Sophomore - signed with Univ. of Memphis)
3 24 Nick Johnson LHP (Freshman)
4 35 Chandler Gant RHP (Sophomore - signed with Reinhardt Univ.)
5 26 Will Nash RHP (Sophomore)
6 29 Cannon Duke RHP (Sophomore)
7 1 Jarret Fowlkes CF (Freshman)

2017 TEAM OUTLOOK: We are essentially a breaking in a brand new team from last year. Only 7 players are back from last year's team, and this year's team features 17 freshman. 7 of our 9 starting position players will be freshman, and though I think they are a talented bunch, they are going to be thrown into the fire in a very good league. They are going to take some time to get used to this level, but if they can play defense behind our pitching staff until they figure out the offensive side of things, we should be in pretty good shape. Our pitching staff is our most experienced position group and we will lean on them heavily early in the season to keep us in games. We have a number of guys on the staff that can pitch at a high level if they pitch to their strengths and challenge hitters, and utilize a very athletic defense behind them. Our schedule is very challenging again, but we have schedule 32 home games - most in our program's history - so hopefully we can take advant!
age of playing in a familiar atmosphere.
Offense: We lost some very good offensive players from last year, and it will be very difficult to replace them in 1 short year. We have a much different group of hitters this year, and we will look to utilize good team speed throughout our 1-2 and 6-9 hitters. If we can get guys on for our 3-5 hitters, hopefully we can put those guys in RBI situations. Our theme to our young guys is going to be trying to get them to string together competitive at bats and utilizing their strength (team speed) to pressure other team's defenses.
Defense: We are very strong defensively in the middle of the field, even though our catcher/shortstop/center fielder will all be freshman. Team's were able to steal bases at a high clip against us last year, and I think we will have more pitchers and 3 catchers that will be much better at controlling the running game. We are going to have to be a very strong defensive club in order to have success this year.
Pitching: The biggest difference from last year's team to this one should be our pitching staff. We have a number of guys with quality stuff on the mound and more strike throwing ability as a whole compared to last year. Our pitchers are our most experienced position group and we need them to be good for us early as our young hitters are still figuring it out. By the end of the spring, we should have 7-8 pitchers off this team go on to quality 4 year programs.

Volunteer State CC
Players to Watch
1 So. 1B Bill Hamilton (MTSU commit) Bill is a big physical player. Very athletic for his size. We expect Bill to have a big year for us. Could potential be a draft this year.
2 FR RHP Corey Wilson. Talented right handed arm. Should be one of our main guys.
3 FR LHP Brett Wilkins. Crafty LH that knows how to pitch and will compete.
4 FR SS Justin St Amour. Had an outstanding fall for us. Expecting big things out of Justin. Just a pure baseball player!
5 So. OF Lofton Cotton. Good def OF who runs well. Should be able to improve off a good FR year.
6 So. RHP Colin Kriminger. Transfer from Lincoln Trail. Big arm with a really good breaking ball. Could be a high factor for us.
7 So 1B/OF Ryan Horne. Ryan could see a lot of time in the OF transitioning from 1B. Mainly our DH last year. I except him to have real solid year for us.

Offense: Offensively we have a few guys that has the potential to really swing it. Hopefully other guys can get on base and use our speed to put us in run scoring oppurtunities.
Defense: Defensively will be a huge factor for us. We will have a whole new INF except at 1B so hopefully we can be as steady has we have been the past couple of years.
Pitching: Pitching will be another big factor. We lost our whole starting rotation and key bullpen guys from last year but if our FR can pitch to their potential and some guys who threw innings for us last can step up hopefully that will be able to help us compete at the highest level we possibly can.
Overall Outlook: Heading to 2019 we have a lot of unanswered questions. We still have some positions that guys are competing for so the first part of the season we will still be trying to figure out what our best lineup is. We have a lot of FR so they will have to adjust to the college game quickly. If we can play to our potential and compete as hard as we can day in and day out we can compete with anyone. Our work ethic and desire will be a factor on how our season goes. We are not overly talented but we do have some guys that play so we have to use the abilities we have and play as hard as possible. Time will tell. We are looking forward to getting started on Feb 8th

Walters State CC
Players to Watch
1 RHP Alex Haynes - Hard throwing righty makes transition to starter after relieving last year. (Tennessee Signee)
2 RHP Gage Gillian - Closer returns after successful freshman campaign where he went 5-1 with a 1.43 ERA and struck out 71 in 44 IP. (North Carolina Signee)
3 LHP Corey Stone - Transfer from University of South Carolina, should factor in as a weekend starter.
4 RHP Kody Davidson - Versatile righty who can both start and relieve. (Tennessee Signee)
5 3B/SS Drew Haynie - Solid defender at any infield position, will also be an offensive threat this year. (East Tennessee State Signee)
6 C/INF JL Bland - Most improved player on team, after just switching to Catcher last year. (East Tennessee State Signee)
7 INF Bryce Hodge - Top hitter in the fall. Should spend year in middle of the order.
8 INF Jerry Hammons - Freshman from Farragut. Power bat who will be in lineup on a daily basis.
9 1B Brayden Combs - Christmas Transfer from University of Kentucky. Big power bat who will provide a presence in our order.
10 INF/OF - Mason Streater - Christmas Transfer from University of South Carolina. Should play multiple positions and provide a big bat.
11 OF Alex Bibb - transfer last year from University of Kentucky. Potential every day middle of the order bat.
12 RHP Zebby Matthews - Freshman righty with advanced pitchability
13 OF Xavier Arnette - One of the top athletes on team, returns after hitting .381 last year as freshman.
14 SS Michael Robinson - Throwback type player who has a natural ability to defend at SS. Adding 20 pound while redshirting last year will help him offensively.
15 3B/DH Jacob Jennings - Sophomore power bat. With a little more consistency should have a big year.
16 OF Seth Gardner - Will push for starting spot in OF.
17 C Logan Hullette - Plus defender behind the plate.
18 C Max Riemer - Good all-around catcher with a plus left-handed bat. One of our top freshmen.
19 C Tucker Pate - has battled injury last two years, but could provide a big offensive boost if he can get healthy.
20 RHP Bubba Hubbard - Sophomore power righty up to 92 with a heavy FB. If he commands it consistently will eat up big innings for us.
21 RHP Andrew Lindsey - Freshman righty with a big arm and plus breaking ball. Has potential to be a draft pick.
22 RHP Zach Joyce - Big freshman arm with weekend starter-type stuff. Looking forward to seeing what he develops into.
23 RHP Seth Caldwell - 29th-round draft pick last year by Angels. Missed some time this fall with tenderness, but potential is unlimited with some development and experience.
24 LHP Drew Vaden - Lefty who has been up to 88, looks to continue to make strides with consistency, and if he does will be a huge factor.
25 INF/OF Parker Stinnett - Good young player who has a chance to be a big time player as he continues to add strength.
26 RHP Jack Collins - Transfer from College of Charleston. Could see role as weekend reliever and midweek starter.
27 LHP Blake Petty - Coming off injury last year, Mid to Upper 80's lefty that will pitch a lot for us.

Offense: Offensively, we are trying to replace every starter off a team that averaged over 11 runs per game last year. As a coach, its hard not to compare your team to the previous year, but I am learning that isn't a fair thing to do with my group this year. Last years team was the most productive offensive team we have every had here at Walters, so expecting this years team to match that would be a pretty dumb thing to do. This Fall, we really struggled offensively, but that was against some pretty good arms in a schedule that included 8 games against Division I teams. Our hitters have really put the time in the cages and in the weight room, and we added a couple of potential impact transfers, so hopefully that will lead to more offensive production for us this spring.
Defense: Defensively we were really solid this Fall, so for once I am really excited about our defense going into the season, as that is something we are not normally known for. Haynie and Robinson will start the season on the left side of the infield and both are plus defenders. Hammons and Hodge will get the nod on the right side and both are very solid. We also have a lot of infield depth with a couple of SEC transfers coming in. Catching should be solid as we start the year with 3 solid defenders in Bland, Hullette, and Riemer. Bland is also a plus defender in the infield and will see time out there. Arnette provides speed in CF and covers a lot of ground. 
Pitching: This years pitching staff has a chance to be a special one for us. Its probably as much pitching depth as we have every had on one staff, as we have 13 arms I feel very confident in bringing in any time. Haynes has improved as much as anyone we have had during his time with us, and has a chance to hear his name called pretty early next June in the draft. Having a guy like Gillian at the back end of games who is the ultimate competitor and can come in and shut things down, really allows you the opportunity to develop the rest of the staff over the course of the year. 
Overall outlook: There are a lot of unknowns for us as we head into the season, after losing 17 players to Division I schools off last years World Series team. I have no doubt we have some serious growing pains in store as we try to develop some players who are unproven at the college level. We may find out the true value of the old saying, "Pitching and Defense wins", as we will most likely need our pitching and defense to do a lot for us until our hitters can get some things figured out.