Head Coach Johnny Wiggs and the Santa Fe Saints baseball team will begin the 2019 season with a list of goals to strive for, but winning a fourth consecutive Mid-Florida Conference Championship is the one written in bold letters. "Our goal every year is to win the conference championship," said Wiggs. "We take a lot of great pride in our success we have had the past 12 years."
Over the past three years, the Saints have accumulated an overall record of 119-34 and 57-14 in MFC play. The Saints have won eight conference championships since Wiggs' arrival at Santa Fe 12 years ago. "The coaches and players over the 12 years have developed a great winning culture. We look for great competitors and try to cultivate that even more when they get here," said Wiggs. "The new guys get here and want to continue the excellence."
This year the Saints, ranked 12th in the pre-season NJCAA poll, will have the benefit of a deep pitching staff that includes three NCAA division I transfers. Donovan Benoit (University of Tennessee), Connor Churchill (University of Florida) and Emanuel Fernandez (University of Mississippi) will bring experience and maturity to an already strong rotation.
"We have many guys that could be a starting pitcher for us," said Wiggs. "Non-conference will give us a chance to look at different options and find out what works best for us heading into conference."
The Saints return three of their top hitters from a team that went 39-11 in 2018 including a 19-5 MFC record and State Tournament number three finish.
Outfielder Brock Edge, son of former Gator kicker Shane Edge, returns after hitting .409 last year that led to him signing with the University of Florida. Third baseman Cade Westbrook (.397) and first baseman/closer Garrett Mathes (.391) will also be regulars in the middle of the Saints lineup.
The Saints will be without two standouts from last year that left SF early to follow their dreams of playing in the SEC.
Right-hander Devin Hemenway will stay in Gainesville and pitch for the Gators as a sophomore and outfielder Andrew Eyster will join the Gamecocks of USC.
The Saints open the season with a trip to Tampa to take on Hillsborough CC Friday afternoon before returning to Gainesville to host South Georgia College in a doubleheader Saturday with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 12 noon.
Saints Baseball "Fun Facts"
Almost Local Players
Brock Edge – Columbia High School
- GO SAINTS -