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2006 Season Preview

2006 Season Preview imagePosted: 4/13/2006 8:42:32 AM

Jan. 24, 2006 - Tacoma, WA - The 2006 season marks the first for new Head Coach Donegal Fergus. He and his staff have set lofty expectations and goals for their program in the coming years, but the first season will certainly be one of transition. 12 sophomores return from a year ago, and they will be heavily counted on to provide leadership to a very inexperienced freshman class. Coach Fergus - "We will do our very best to stay competitive in the Western Division this year, and with the great sophomores we have I think we can do just that. We are also looking to the future, as we ramp up our recruiting efforts to bring an elite baseball program to Tacoma."

Pitching is perhaps the most important component in the NWAACC, and the Titans will have their work cut out for them this season. Only 3 members of this year's staff have any collegiate playing experience. Pitching Coach Ron Rakowski has been working overtime with this group to get them ready to face the rigors of conference play. They are led by sophomores Doug Lottes and Kyle Young. Lottes is a crafty lefthander with a great changeup, while Young, who is also a rightfielder, gets by with a hard fastball and tremendous athleticism. They are joined by sophomores Sam Bishop and Keith Young, as well as freshmen Kent Bradshaw, Dan Cox, Matt Rodriguez, TJ Peabody (Diamondbacks 44th ), Robbie Carroll, Berk Himmelberger, Benjamin Garner, and David Roberts. Peabody and Carroll may be the X-factors this year being late transfers from Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California. Both look very promising, however. Coach Rakowski definitely has his work cut out for him molding this staff into a winning bunch but he is very optimistic. "I really like the group of pitchers we have this year, says Rakowski, "We don't have a lot of guys that are going to blow hitters away but we do have kids who are going to be tough on the mound and compete like crazy". Rakowski also added that, "with the addition of Peabody and Carroll" to go along with Lottes and Young "we could be very strong at the front end of our rotation". Coach Fergus also commented that "we are not very big. We've got some good kids, but they are very short on experience and must grow up in a hurry for us to be successful this year."

The infield is anchored by a pair of sophomore standouts, Zack Parnell (2005 All-Western Division 2nd Team) at shortstop, and Josh Guild at second base. Both possess excellent defensive skills and can handle the bat as well. " With a year of playing together already under their belts, Parnell and Guild have tremendous chemistry and awareness of each other that easily matches any double-play combination in the NWAACC," says first year Titan assistant coach Brian Viafore. Freshmen brothers Ty and Seth Drake will provide depth at several infield spots, along with freshmen Brady Coker and Nikko Ganacias. At the corners, the Titans will see sophomores Matt Burpee and Joe Stockton digging balls out at first base, while freshman transfer Jake Valentine will man the hot corner. Stockton and Valentine are former high school teammates at Skyview High School in Vancouver, WA, both of whom transferred to TCC from junior colleges in Arizona and California, respectively. Burpee is a hard-nosed player with solid leadership skills and good instincts for the game.

Outfield looks to be a position of strength and depth this year for the Titans. Sophomore Jeff Savas (2005 All-Western Division 1st Team) is perhaps the best defensive centerfielder in the Western Division and is flanked by Young (2005 All-Western Division 1st Team) in right, who has possibly the conference's best throwing arm. His twin brother Keith should be a major contributor as well, seeing time in both corner outfield spots. Sophomores Stockton, Chris Harris, and Wally Miller are joined by freshmen Ryan Maynes and Jimmy Blackford to give the clu

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