Season Preview: Baseball

Season Preview: Baseball

The Tigers will look to go a little bit further this season after taking the NCAC West Division last year but falling to Oberlin in the cross-over series.

The Tigers finished 15-24 overall and stood at 12-7 in NCAC play for first place in the NCAC West Division. However, league coaches pegged them to finish fifth in this season's NCAC Preseason Poll.

Wooster was selected as the conference favorite, earning nine of 10 possible first-place votes cast by league coaches to total 99 points. Ohio Wesleyan (84) and Allegheny (79) rounded out the top three while Denison (67), DePauw (66), Oberlin (42), Wabash (39), Kenyon (37), Wittenberg (20) and Hiram (17) followed.

The Fighting Scots won the regular season title last year, but Oberlin came away with the tournament crown and the NCAA Tournament automatic bid.

The Tigers field a team with just three seniors this season – Wyatt Spector, Lucas Italiano and Connor Einertson. Two of them, Spector and Italiano, along with Reid Pittard return after receiving All-NCAC accolades last season.

Spector pitched a team-high 57.2 innings and posted a 3-4 record with a 3.43 ERA.

Italiano batted .343 with a .515 slugging percentage and a team-high .440 on-base percentage. He led the team in runs scored (29), hits (46), doubles (11) and was second on the team in RBI (25).

As a sophomore, Pittard batted .350 with an on-base percentage of .416. The shortstop totaled 35 hits with 18 runs scored and 16 RBI. Pittard had a .380 slugging percentage, drawing 12 walks and striking out just six times in 100 at bats.

Other notable returnees include Jack Thompson, who played in 25 games and batted .310, and Mike Hammel, Nick Horvath and Andrew Quinn, who all pitched more than 30 innings last season.

DePauw starts the season with a doubleheader against Anderson at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. on Saturday before turning around and playing them again once more on Sunday. Their first home game is March 12 against Hanover, and they open NCAC play April 2 when they host Wittenberg.