Cuthbert, GA -- Baseball season is just days away and the Andrew Fighting Tigers baseball team is primed and ready for the 2018 season. The Tigers are coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2017 which saw the Tigers win 28 games and make a run in the NJCAA region 17 tournament.
The 2018 version of the Tigers will look to build off the success of last season and will do so with a large and talented group of sophomores. The starting lineup will have some familiar faces to Tigers fans, with as many as six of the starting nine being returning players. The same can be said on the mound with many key roles being manned by returning Tigers. At the conclusion of the fall season the team voted on captains for the upcoming season, four sophomores will have that distinction: Dahlton Cash, Brandon Brown, Kevin Donovan, and Brent Todys.
The second half of our season preview will focus on the Tigers pitching staff heading into the spring season.
The Tigers pitching staff is coming off a strong fall season which created lots of competition heading into the spring season. The Tigers return a solid core of pitchers that will be expected to log significant innings.
A staple in the starting rotation in 2017, sophomore Brandon Brown returns and will look to build on his success last season and lead the Tigers staff in 2018. Brown logged over sixty innings last season and lead the team with five wins. Brown has above average pitchability and is bulldog when he gets the ball. Another face expected to be in the starting rotation is sophomore Kevin Donovan. Donovan transferred to the Tigers from Wallace State in Alabama where he logged nearly thirty innings with an era in the twos. Donovan possesses an above average fastball to go along with two quality off speed offerings and excellent command. Redshirt Freshman Daniel Lee is another name Tigers need to get used to hearing. Lee is armed with a fastball that tops out 90+ mph along with a curveball and improving splitfinger fastball. Lee will be called upon heavily in 2018 and has given the coaching staff lots to be excited about. Freshman Nicholas Kempf will be the lone true freshman to begin the year in the starting rotation. Kempf is a tall, projectable right hander that throws lots of strikes and has a knack for making quality pitches in game defining moments. Kempf was second on the team in era at the conclusion of the fall season and will look to continue his early success this spring.
The Tigers bull pen will feature a few key returners from 2017, but will also include some exciting new comers that have the coaching staff buzzing.
A key cog in the Tigers bullpen a year ago, sophomore Andrew Wingate returns looking to build on his excellent freshman year. Wingate features excellent movement on his fastball and a devastating split finger fastball. Wingate will be one of the Tigers most reliable and used arms in 2018. Another key returner is redshirt sophomore Colby Mullins. Mullins battled an arm injury coming from high school and early in his career but is fully healthy and ready to leave his mark in Cuthbert. Mullins spent last summer pitching in the Perfect Game Collegiate League where he gained valuable experience and came back a different pitcher. Mullins features a heavy fastball that regularly reaches over 90 mph and a plus curveball that is a true swing and miss pitch. Mullins signed in the early signing period to continue his career at Middle Georgia State College. Also returning is sophomore lefty Adonis Graham, who appeared in 18 games for the Tigers a season ago. Graham works with great tempo and keeps hitters off balance with plethora of off speed pitches.
The Tigers will also return two fimilair faces that saw their freshman season cut short due to injury. Redshirt freshman Tyler Goddard and Hunter Norman. Goddard was one of the top incoming recruits for the Tigers a season ago and immediately made an impact last fall. Entering last season as one of the Tigers top arms, Goddard injured his throwing arm early in the spring season. Goddard has worked hard to get healthy and has pitched well in his return. The coaching staff expects him to get better and better as the season continues. Hunter Norman started last season a key cog in the Tigers bull pen pitching meaningful innings in a few early season wins. Norman's season was cut short when he injured his UCL and eventually had Tommy John surgery. Normal will begin the season slow but will look to factor in down the stretch for the Tigers.
The Tigers have three exciting freshman that will each be a key to the Tigers success. Freshman Brady Jones burst onto the scene with the Tigers in the fall coming off a run to the State Championship with his high school team. Jones is a tall, physical righty with a good fastball and ever improving off speed offerings. Jones pitches with incredible toughness and will see action in the back end of the Tigers bull pen. Freshman Omari "Duke" Hunter also made his presence felt early in his time on campus. Duke throws a firm downhill fastball and pairs it with maybe the best curveball on the Tigers pitching staff. Duke will be used in a variety of roles and will play a big role in the Tigers success this season. Another freshman that has the coaching staff buzzing is submarine righty Darrell Woodall. Woodall creates excellent movement on his fastball to go along with a wipeout slider. This trio of freshman arms will no doubt leave their mark on the 2018 season.
You can follow the Tigers all season long through the website:
Don't forget you can catch all home games on live feed through the Andrew College Digital Network (ACDN). Visit the website approximately 30 minutes before all home games to catch the broadcast live in HD.