January 25, 2018
Gainesville, FL – The preseason practices are over and the Santa Fe Saints baseball team is set to take the field on January 26 when they open their season against Hillsborough CC at 3:00 p.m. at SF Field.
The Saints are coming off back to back Mid-Florida Conference championships and finished 2017 with a 38-13 overall record. In coach Johnny Wiggs 11 years at the helm, Santa Fe has won seven MFC titles, and two FCSAA State titles.
Perfect Game USA has the Saints pegged as the #15 team in the country entering the season and they come in at #5 in the FCSAA State coaches poll.
SF returns just seven players from last year's team and 19 players will make their debut on Friday. Mikey Navarrette returns to hold down the middle of the infield at shortstop and starting pitcher Mitch Campion is back to improve on his solid freshman season that saw him strike out 55 batters in 42 innings.
"The players are very excited to get going," said Wiggs. "With so many new players this year it will be fun to watch how we develop, grow, and embrace the great competition and adversity we will face throughout the year."
Outfielder Andrew Eyster (Ocala Forest) and 1B/RHP Garrett Mathes (Tallahassee Chiles) headline a talented freshman class and will be expected to make an impact right away. Transfers Austin Bodrado (University of Florida) and Max McKinley (College of Charleston) amongst others, will add experience to a young lineup.
"I really like our athleticism of our position players and the depth of our pitching staff," Wiggs commented. "The non-conference schedule will be another great assessment for us as we try to field the best lineup as we head towards conference."
The Saints pitching rotation will lineup like this on opening weekend:
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