SPORT REPORT: UW baseball and softball season preview
If the Husky basketball season has you down in the dumps then perhaps it’s time to look ahead at the upcoming spring sports. The lineup includes this year’s highly talented baseball and softball teams, both of which have had high success rates over the past few years and plan to reach even higher in 2020.
The Huskies face a tough task of replacing five position players who received significant playing time in the prior season, three of whom were taken in the 2019 MLB draft. They lost pitchers Jordan Jones and Josh Burgmann to the draft, as well. Combined, the two pitched 166 innings for the Huskies, leading the team in this category, as well as strikeouts. While replacing inning eaters such as Jones and Butgmann will be a tough task for head coach Lindsay Meggs, she thankfully has options heading into the season.
The two pitchers expected to make up for the losses are junior Stevie Emanuels and sophomore David Rhodes. Emanuels had a stellar season as the team’s closer, posting a 2.35 ERA along with six saves. However, Meggs announced that he will move into a role as the Saturday starter and Rhodes will continue to be the Friday starter. While it has not yet been announced who will be the Sunday starter there are several potential candidates for this role. One particular individual to keep an eye on is junior Jack DeCooman, whose name was brought up by Meggs in his preseason press conference.
The most significant loss to replace in the starting batting lineup is catcher Nick Kahle. Kahle started the past two seasons for the Huskies posting a .339 batting average with eight home runs in his final year. Since then, Kahle has been drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round and Junior Michael Petrie will take over catching duties after serving as backup last season. The other two staples in the lineup will be outfielder Braden Ward and shortstop Ramon Bramasco. Ward has led the Pac 12 in steals for two consecutive seasons and Bramasco started every game at shortstop while batting a .284.
Fielding one of the best teams in the nation, Husky softball is bound to be on the quest for another national championship. In the past season, the Huskies made a substantial run in the College World Series but ultimately ended up falling to conference rival UCLA in the semi-finals. However, they bring back a large part of the core that led them that far and thus possess the talent to reach the World Series once again.
The team opens the season as favorites to win it all after being voted as the top team in the USA Today preseason poll. They are joined by two other Pac 12 schools in the conference which will be once again stacked with talented teams from top to bottom. With a giant target on UW’s back, facing these tough conference opponents from week to week makes it even more difficult to keep that #1 ranking. With this being said, these games are what prepare them for postseason play — which they have thrived in after just finishing their third straight College World Series appearance.
Three top seniors who led the team in a large amount of the statistical categories return for one more season. The names to pay attention to are Sis Bates, Morganne Flores and Taryn Atlee. All of which have started hundreds of games throughout their career for UW and will look to go out with a bang. Flores is the power of the lineup after posting a .348 batting average with 23 home runs. Bates is most likely to hold the lead spot again as she always does a tremendous job of getting on base for the middle of the lineup.
As a reminder, your Husky card can get you into any nonfootball or basketball sporting events for free. All you have to do is show your card at the gate and you will be granted access into the facility.
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
02/28 UC Irvine 6:05 p.m.
02/29 UC Irvine 2:05 p.m.
03/01 UC Irvine 1:05 p.m.
03/13 Utah 6:00 p.m.
03/14 Utah 1:00 p.m.
03/15 Utah 12:00 p.m.