Franklin Springs, GA - The Lion's mantra is simple: 1-0. That's been the mantra of Emmanuel Baseball ever since they opened up practice in late August, and the saying has seem to become the focal point of the season for the Lions. "We have trusted the process this entire preseason," infielder Brock Baughcum said at the team's practice earlier this week. "Each day is a new day and a new opportunity to be 1-0."
2017 Lions Baseball Preview
Feb 03, 2017
The Lions will certainly look to be 1-0 this coming Friday in their season opener as they play host to the Kentucky State Thorobreds in a three-game series.
Emmanuel Baseball returns 5 starting position players and the majority of their pitching staff from last season. Having as many as seven freshmen on the field at one time, the Lions struggled last season to a record of 10-44. Now, after back to back ten win seasons, the Emmanuel Baseball team will have a chip on their shoulder in 2017. "Winning ten games doesn't look or feel good" said pitcher Cooper Murphy. "We feel this year that we have something to prove to our school, that we are a program that can and will win."
The Lions lineup this season will rely upon starting returners Eric Pape and Stephen Skeggs as well as incoming junior college transfer Daniel Gooden to boast the middle of their lineup. Redshirt senior Eric Pape hit .272 with 7 homeruns in 2016, and sophomore Stephen Skeggs was 3rd amongst all freshman in batting average with a .299 average in the Conference Carolinas last season. Gooden, meanwhile, posted a .304 average with 9 homeruns last season at Georgia Highlands.
Emmanuel Baseball will look to improve on the mound as well after adding junior college arms Cole Pittman and Dalton Kuhn. Daniel Gooden will also be a key contributor to the pitching staff this season as well. Pittman, who comes in from East Georgia, was third in the GCAA last season in strikeouts(73) and Gooden was first among all starters in the GCAA last season in K/9, striking out 11.57 per 9 innings pitched. Kuhn went 4-4 with a 3.79 ERA while at Andrew College last season. Redshirt sophomore Cooper Murphy and sophomore Bryson Cornett, who both logged significant innings for the Lions last season, will provide heavy contributions as well.
Emmanuel Baseball enters into this season with high hopes and expectations. However, there isn't anyone with higher expectations for the team than head coach Jeff Kilgore. "We are excited for the 2017 season. This year's team is comprised of a large amount of returning guys, several transfers, and a talented freshman class," said Kilgore. "They have worked hard and helped raise the standard for our program. We are excited to see what the 2017 season holds for this group of young men."
Emmanuel Baseball plays in the Conference Carolinas as a part of NCAA Division II. The Lions also compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association(NCCAA-DI).
For complete coverage of Emmanuel Baseball, please follow the Lions on twitter @ECLionsBaseball.
For more informtion on the Lions, please visit www.goeclions.com