Senior lefthander Brandon Marsonek is a first-team preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection.Sidney Jackson HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - To rebuild a baseball team, you need a blend of veterans and youth at key positions. A solid nucleus of pitching, fielding and hitting are...
Senior lefthander Brandon Marsonek is a first-team preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection.Sidney Jackson
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - To rebuild a baseball team, you need a blend of veterans and youth at key positions.
A solid nucleus of pitching, fielding and hitting are also essential.
For Alabama A&M University Head Coach Mitch Hill, the Bulldogs have the elements to help make the upcoming season a successful one.
For his third season as head coach, Hill has 11 players back from last year to join 23 new players on The Hill.
Anchoring the team is a trio of players with nationally recognized credentials.
Senior Brandon Marsonek is a preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference first-team pitcher after being named second team All-SWAC last year.
The lefty was tied with former Bulldog Caleb Roberts for most appearances in the league last season with 27 (19th-most nationally).
He was second in the league and 25th in the nation in 2016 with 88 strikeouts - 33 of which were looking which was second in the SWAC. His three saves were fourth in the league and he was second in games finished with 14.
Shortstop JT O'Reel brings a solid bat and an excellent glove back for the Bulldogs. He is also among Black College Nines' "Ten HBCU Players to Look Out for in 2017."
O'Reel, a senior, struck out just six times in 205 at-bats - once in every 34.2 at-bats - last season and received the NCAA's "Toughest to Strike Out Award." He didn't strike out until the 29th game of the season and ended the season with a 10-game streak of not striking out. O'Reel did not strike out more than once in any game and was called out on strikes just once. O'Reel had a solid impact in the field, as well. He led the SWAC in assists with 133 and was ranked first in fielding double plays with 37 - helping the Bulldogs finish ninth in the nation in turning double plays with 54.
Among the nearly two dozen new players is freshman pitcher Caleb Gay. He was named by Black College Nines as a "HBCU Top Impact Freshman."
A 6-3, 200-pound righthander, Gay throws about 88-89 mph. He was named Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 5 Player of the Year for class 2A schools last year.
Another newcomer is junior first baseman Carson McGregory from Marion Military Institute.
McGregory played high school baseball at Deshler and, at MMI, was named to the 2016 Alabama Community College Conference Gold Glove Team. The Tuscumbia native had 352 total chances with 334 putouts, 17 assists and only one error.
At the plate, McGregory hit .399 with a .494 on-base percentage and .517 slugging percentage. He had 57 hits in 47 games, including 12 doubles, one triple and one home run. He also drove in 27 runs.
Among the returning starters, Carlton Peppers is back to anchor the Bulldogs' outfield. In 35 games last season, the redshirt junior had 68 putouts and five assists. He batted .265 and drove in 18 runs and had seven doubles.
The Bulldogs open their season Feb. 17 with a four-game series against Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne at Bulldog Field.
- Samford track and field excels at 2017 Buccaneer Invitational
- Samford women's basketball comes up just short at Chattanooga, 51-45
- Yankees to sign Chris Carter: What it means
- What should Giants do with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?
- NFL key dates 2017: Eagles' offseason deadlines, including Bennie Logan and free agency
- Collegiate Equestrian 2017 spring season is underway
- Boyd Martin wins Eventing Showcase in Florida
- NJ-bred Irish War Cry upsets Classic Empire in Holy Bull
- El Areeb, Royal Mo pick up 10 Derby points on Feb. 4
- New Jersey Devils vs. Buffalo Sabres: RECAP, score, stats, chat (2/6/17)
- Alabama A&M holds off Jackson State in come-from-behind win
- Alabama A&M's Ballard and Bentley honored by SWAC
You might also like
- Bay Head residents tell judge they don't want beach replenishment project
- Homicides drop 4 percent; see how many each N.J. county had
- Plan to pipe 400K barrels of oil through N.J. Highlands hits big setback
- Ex-Assemblyman sentenced to 8 years in $5.3M ponzi scheme
- Made in Jersey: Flexible Flyer - the sled from south Jersey
- Nina Callavini and Wade Espi named 2017 4-H Ambassadors
- WTHS AP psychology students learn about brain pain
- Fulop's 2017 state of the city speech (Ward F)
- Poll: Do you approve of the job President Trump has done so far?
- Penn State fraternity suspended after N.J. student's death
- Police must name officers, release video in fatal shooting, judge rules
- 'American Son' at George Street is a raw and timely look at race
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Israeli prime minister talks of a snap election amid concerns over a new public broadcaster
- U.S. condemns suspected Syrian chemical attack on civilians, but says the Assad government is a 'political reality'
- Canada's largest school board will end class trips to the U.S. due to Trump's travel restrictions
- Warplanes strike Syrian town already hit by chemical attack
- Vigilantes prowl Europe's border with a target: Muslim migrants
- A letter from Britain to the European Union will trigger the 'Brexit' process March 29
- Ukraine president suggests a Kremlin-orchestrated attack after former Russian lawmaker is shot dead in Kiev
- Russian officials say St. Petersburg subway blast killed at least 11 and injured dozens
- As death toll in hospital attack soars to 50, Afghanistan investigates whether it was an inside job
- South Korea's ousted leader moves out of palace, apologizes for 'not fulfilling my duties'
- A brazen political killing shakes Myanmar, already teetering on the path to democracy
- India's Narendra Modi leads his party to victory in a state with more than 200 million people
- A controversial Thai monk is wanted in connection with a fraud case. His followers won't give him up
- Another Dalit suicide on campus raises fears of a crisis of discrimination at Indian universities
- Syrian government insists it does not use chemical weapons; US vows serious response to attack
- Bodies of U.N. workers and interpreter found in Congo, prompting calls for investigation
- Hamas hangs 3 Palestinians in Gaza it says were collaborating with Israel
- Basque group ETA hands over weapons, ammunition and explosives to France
- Syrian ally Iran blasts U.S. missile strikes as 'dangerous, destructive and a violation of international law'