Hey Batter Batter…

Guilford’s baseball team ranks fifth out of nine teams in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) pre-season poll this year. They’re in the middle, but not necessarily stuck there.Though the Quakers may have struggled a bit in 2001 (15-24), the 2002 season looks promising. All told, 17 letter winners are back. Of those, eight were starters last year.

Many of the hitters who delivered last year have returned. Brad Franklin is back after acquiring the third-highest batting average in school history, a .423, last season. Sophomore outfielder A.J. McCauley, recognized by ODAC last year for hitting .358 and stealing 14 bases as a rookie, is also playing this year.

“Offensively, we had a very strong season, but pitching was a glaring weakness last year,“ said head coach Gene Baker.

Guilford’s response to last year’s pitching shortcomings is senior Joe Dooley. He assumes the pitcher’s mound after a season playing for Division I George Mason. In his freshman and sophomore years at Guilford, Dooley grabbed a 7-8record, recording 105 strikeouts in 101.3 innings.

Along with pitching, Coach Baker also hopes game attendance will improve. “We really want the campus to come see what we’re trying to do out here,” said Baker. “There’s anew P.A. system and the facilities are nicer this year,” he added.

The Quakers are 1-3 so far – still in the middle. But come, during the lull of the mid-spring athletic season, and see what fate will pitch their way.