By Cadet Johnathan Stokes
The Citadel Bulldogs struggled throughout the 2014 baseball season and ended with a 24-34 record. They were a veteran ball club that did not play like the caliber of team that they were. A combination of entitlement and selfishness was a recipe for disaster.
Coming into the 2015 season, the Bulldogs will be without five of their starting players. First baseman Bo Thompson was taken by the New York Yankees in the draft and second baseman Mason Davis also signed with the Miami Marlins. The other three starters lost were senior left fielder Drew DeKerlegand, senior center fielder Hughston Armstrong and senior right fielder Tyler Griffin.
Upon losing these players, the Bulldogs have many returning veteran players and should have a good chance at competing for the Southern Conference championship. Returning are third basemen Bailey Rush and Brett Hines, and center fielder Jason Smith. Johnathan Stokes is returning at the shortstop position and Ryan Kilgallen will be coming back for his fifth year as the starting catcher. Along with these position players, the team has a number of starting pitchers and relievers returning, and are looking forward to having a stellar year due to their experience and hard work.
Fortunately, The Citadel did not lose any of their starting pitching and should return a very talented and veteran staff. Returning is James Reeves, Skylar Hunter, Ross White, Austin Mason, Austin Livingston, Zach Sherrill, and Zach Lavery. These pitchers saw the majority of the innings in 2014 and are projected to put up some very good numbers.
The expectations for the upcoming season are extremely high due to a winning tradition at The Citadel. Even though there are many incoming freshmen and new starters in the lineup, mediocrity will not be considered or allowed to encompass this ball club. Like every year, the expectations are to win the SoCon Tournament.
Johnathan Stokes, a cadet from Columbia, is a student in Andy Solomon’s Sport Communications class.