Pfeiffer Falcons vs Limestone Saints
Pfeiffer Falcons vs Carson-Newman Eagles
Saturday, February 3 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 4:00 p.m.
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/limestone/baseball/
The Pfeiffer baseball team opens up their season this weekend as they travel to Gaffney, SC on Saturday to play the Limestone Saints at 1 p.m. and the Carson-Newman Eagles at 4 p.m.
The Falcons will be led by first-year head coach Jordan Stampler, who takes over the helm after Dusty Blake was hired as the Duke University pitching coach in December. Stampler was previously Pfeiffer's assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Blake. Coach Stampler played his collegiate career at USC Upstate, playing two seasons there before beginning his coaching career at Adrian College as an assistant coach. Stampler becomes the seventh head coach in the program's history.
A lot of changes have happened since Pfeiffer last took the field, including joining the USA South Athletic Conference as the school continues their transition into Division III. The Falcons also lost two of the teams' leading hitters from a year ago, Zach Scudder and Tanner Mathis, to graduation. Despite losing their offensive production, Pfeiffer returns five everyday starters, including seniors Derek Perry, Xavier Rodriguez, Jordan Eckard, Kirby Lambert, and Christian Marciano. Eckard comes off a Second Team All-Conference selection a season ago, while Perry returns after hitting .294 with five home runs and a .368 on-base percentage while splitting time behind the plate and at second base.
Xavier Rodriguez enters this season looking for another big year at the plate, as he put up career-high numbers a season ago. Rodriguez, a senior from Tampa, Florida, led the Falcons in hitting at a .381 clip in 47 games, with an on-base percentage of .475 and stealing seven bases. Rodriguez also looks to once again help Pfeiffer's pitching staff, as he threw 20 innings a season ago while collecting 24 strikeouts in those 20 innings, which were all out of the bullpen.
Another senior, Eckard, looks to complete his strong career in a Falcon uniform with another big season. The senior outfielder has a career slash line of .323/.369/.470 in 124 games. Eckard put together a solid season a year ago, hitting .362 and slugging .577, while scoring 39 runs in 39 games. Eckard will be a key component of what should be a very potent Pfeiffer lineup.
Meanwhile, sophomore Nick Richmond and JUCO transfer, and North Stanly High School alum, Matthew Lambert look to anchor the Pfeiffer rotation this season. The Falcon's pitching staff comes in with experience and looks to have a solid season facing their new DIII opponents. The Falcon's do lose two key lefties in their rotation, Jordan Toney and Drew Wilson, but Richmond and Lambert, combined with sophomore's Cameron Reid and Will Altemueller and redshirt junior Mason Striplin, give Pfeiffer one of the stronger staffs in the league.
The Falcons first homestand begins Friday, February 16 with two games against Indiana-South Bend and then again on Saturday, February 17 with another doubleheader against the same Indiana-South Bend Squad.