Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Crusaders are ready to start the new season after finishing the 2012 campaign with a 28-26 record, which was good for 6th in conference. This year’s team looks to improve on that mark coming into the season ranked 5th in the Conference Carolina preseason poll.

The Crusaders return 6 starters including 2012 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year Allen Staton who looks to improve on an impressive freshman year in which he posted the 4th best batting average in conference and also took 1st team All-Conference honors. The Crusaders also return Ryan Woodring whose 79 strikeouts led the team a season ago. Reggie Reynolds, head coach of the North Greenville University baseball team, says of his 2013 lineup “People might be surprised; it’s a pretty well balanced lineup.”

Coach Reynolds described this Crusader team as having “a great hunger and desire.” He goes on to describe the goal for the team as, “To get better every time out.” The team has great leadership qualities among returners including John Reinholz who has taken on a leadership role and returns to the starting lineup after a full season. “Reinholz has taken a leadership role, he had a good fall, [and] he’s our best defensive outfielder.” Said Coach Reynolds of his centerfielder.

The Crusaders are replacing a strong 2012 graduating class. Expect several fdreshman pitchers to get playing time this season, including Javy Taylor and Tyler Wirsu. Another player to watch is pitcher Ian Haley, a transfer from USC Upstate who can be expected to get early playing time.

Coach Reynolds describes the key to success for this year’s team as, “what we are doing on a daily basis, it’s worry about us and not what everyone else is doing, taking care of the small things in a game, limiting free base runners, [and] situational hitting; the things that we work on [and talk about] in practice every day.