HIGH POINT, N.C. - After making two straight Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship appearances, the Pfeiffer baseball team was picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches' poll as announced by the league this afternoon.
Making postseason runs as an underdog is nothing new to this group after successive championship game appearances as the number three seed in 2015 and number six seed last year. This year's group will look to take the final step in their last season in Conference Carolinas and celebrate a tournament title.
Pfeiffer will rely on an offensive attack that returns most of its key contributors from a season ago. Zach Scudder and Derek Perry both were named to the First Team All-Conference a season ago and have big expectations for their senior years. Perry led the squad in hits and runs, while playing in all 54 games. Scudder led Pfeiffer with a .348 average and tied for the team lead with nine long balls.
Also returning is Second Team All-Conference performer junior Jordan Eckard who shook off a midseason injury to post a .326 batting average and drove in 34 runs. Senior first baseman Tanner Mathis led the Falcons in RBI's and doubles and tied Scudder for the lead in home runs. Also looking to make the most of their final season in Misenheimer are Brandall Peters, John Elwood, Cody McKenzie and Dylan Goodman who make up a veteran laden offensive attack.
On the mound, Pfeiffer will count on a host of young pitchers as the Falcons look to replace their top five pitchers in innings pitched from a season ago. Senior Drew Wilson has experience both in the rotation and bullpen after his transfer from N.C. Central prior to the 2015 season and will be counted on to shoulder more of the load. Fellow lefty Jordan Toney will step into his sophomore campaign as one of the top starters for the Falcons and outfielder/pitcher Xavier Rodriguez will also get an extended look on the mound.
The Falcons kick off their 2017 campaign on February 1 as they host Catawba.