The SCAD men’s baseball team completed their first week of the season with a 2-3 record and a promising offering by a young bullpen.
The Bees return in 2011 after a strong 2010 season, where they finished 32-27, ranking 4th in the NAIA Sun Conference.
The team’s young set of pitchers, including first-years Jonathan Dydo of Orlando, Fla. and Zakk White of Sharpburg, Ga. started the season with poise and control. Dydo conceded only one run to Auburn-Montgomery last weekend and White pitched seven innings with just three hits against Flagler this past Tuesday.
“Playing at the college level is much more intense—everything is on a larger scale—whether in the weight room, on the field or with managing their time,” said coach Doug Wollenburg, “but if they can deal with the pressure, they’re already showing a lot of ability on the field.”
Finding new players can be challenging at SCAD, where student athletes must also keep up with a fast-paced academic curricula. However, in recent years the baseball team has become a strong club, recruiting talented young student-athletes from all over the country.
White comes to SCAD after being recruited from East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Ga. The first-year said after a quarter of learning how to balance his time, he feels excited and prepared for the new season.
“My experience on Tuesday was amazing,” said White of his college debut Feb. 2 against Division II Flagler University. “The hardest part was the fact that I did not have class on Tuesday so when I woke up at 8 a.m., I was already ready to play, but the game was not for another eight hours.”
White and 14 other incoming first-years and transfer students will join 18 returning players, including newly named captains senior Patrick Braswell of Jacksonville, Fla., junior Matt Zajac of Pine Brook, N.J. and junior Mick Waterhouse of Powell, Ohio.
Coach Wollenburg expects a strong offensive game this year, particularly from Braswell, who enters his fourth year already holding SCAD records for career runs, hits, doubles and runs batted in.
SCAD’s become a team to watch in recent years, particularly after the 2007 season, when another SCAD record setter, pitcher Ryan Pope finished the season with a 1.15 ERA. Pope was added to the New York Yankees 40-man roster last fall.
This year’s team plans to build on the momentum of the last few years. The Bees will face Truett-McConnell College at their home field Grayson Stadium this weekend.Contact Susan Kemp.