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2012 TITANS BASEBALL SEASON PREVIEW

2012 TITANS BASEBALL SEASON PREVIEW imagePosted: 2/10/2012 1:03:00 PM

2nd-year coach Ryan Mummert likes the makeup of a 2012 TCC baseball club that blends established returners with a highly-skilled group of newcomers.


"We're especially excited about this season because we feel like our program is continuing to take steps towards building upon the great tradition here at TCC," Mummert said. "We are really athletic this year to go with tremendous team speed. We're extremely optimistic about this season and we can't wait to get started.

2012 TEAM BREAKDOWN
Players Returning: 11
Pos. Players w/Starting Experience Returning: 6
Pitchers w/Significant Innings Returning: 2
Newcomers: 15 (12 high school players; 3 transfers)

 

Outfield

The Titans returning players are led by a pair of All-Region Outfielders - Sophomores Clayton Brown(Black Diamond, WA / Auburn HS) and Stephan Adams(Seattle, WA / West Seattle HS).


Brown, a 1st Team selection last year, batted .308 with 28 runs scored and stole 13 bases to lead all returning players in these catagories. Adams, a 2nd Team selection, hit .303 last year and drove in 17 runs to lead all returners. JJ Nazzaro(Puyallup, WA / Rogers HS), who started 26 games in the Infield in 2011, will move to the outfield to utilize his speed and athletisism. Nazzaro had a great Fall.


Joining the 3 returners in the Outfield is Garrett DeGallier(Bellevue, WA / Eastside Catholic), a transfer from Gonzaga University. DeGallier, a Redshirt-Freshman, brings speed from the left-side of the plate and can really track the ball in the Outfield.


Other newcomers that could contribute include Freshmen Davis Alderman(Kennewick, WA / Southridge HS) and Jordan Woodring(Tacoma, WA / Franklin Pierce HS). Both give the Titans left handed bat options in the line-up.


"Outfield is probably our strongest position this year. All our outfielders can run and we have great options from both sides of the plate," stated Coach Mummert. "We have great overall depth in the outfield."


Infield


Two players with starting experience return in the infield for the Titans in Sophomores Trey Cochran(Boise, ID / Boise HS) and Marcus Hinkle(Puyallup, WA / Cascade Christian HS).


Cochran, who will man 3rd Base again this year, batted .294 with 4 doubles and 2 homeruns last year. Hinkle, who took over the starting SS job a little over half way through last year, returns after batting .263 and will provide solid defense in the middle-infield.


Joining Hinkle in the middle is Freshman Seth Heck(Edmonds, WA / Kamiak HS). Heck, one of the top hitters off Chaffey Baseball Club last Summer, provides the Titans with an immediate impact bat and glove. Ben Circeo(Bothell, WA / Cedar Park Christian HS), another Freshman, should also contribute right away. Circeo has the versatility to play 2B, 3B and SS, allowing him to be used in many different spots. Nazzaro also provides depth to the Infield.


At 1st Base, Erich Armstrong(Tacoma, WA / Franklin Pierce HS) takes over for 2-time All NWAACC David Olson and 1st Team All-West Region Brandon Johnson, who split time last year between 1st Base and DH. Armstrong, who started his career at Washington St, comes to TCC from Eastern Washington University where he played football. Armstrong was an All-State baseball player in High School and will make a significant impact for the Titans. Also providing depth at 1st Base is Kenny Bayer(Puyallup, WA / Emerald Ridge HS), who also plays 3rd Base.


"We have a good mix of returners and youth in our Infield. Seth and Erich really bolster 2 positions of need for us," says Mummert. "I think we have significantly upgraded our talent in the Infield this year between our newcomers and returners."


Catchers


TCC returns 1 catcher from last year in Brian Gustafson(Silverdale, WA / Central Kitasp HS). Gustafson played in 28 games in 2011.


Challenging Gustafson for playing time will be Freshmen Jake Ross(Covington, WA / Kentlake HS) and Chad Michaud(Vancouver, WA / Prairie HS). Both catchers posses amazing arm strength and tremendous defensive skills.


"Brian has some experience in this league and with the addition of Chad and Jake, this position is deeper then we've had in a while," explains Mummert. "I am excited to watch the young guys grow and all 3 will challenge each other only making this position stronger as the season goes on."

 

PRIMARY RETURNING-POSITION STARTERS
Player Pos. Cl.-Exp. B/T Avg. Notable
Clayton Brown OF SO R/R .308 1st Team All-West Region
Stephan Adams OF SO R/R .303 2ND Team All-West Region
Trey Cochran 3B SO R/R .294 2 HR .490 SLG .410 OBP


TOP NEWCOMERS-POSITION PLAYERS
Player Pos. Cl. B/T Hometown (2011 School)
Garrett DeGallier OF RS-FR L/L Bellevue, WA (Gonzaga University)
Erich Armstrong 1B SO L/L Tacoma, WA (Eastern Washington University)
Seth Heck MIF FR R/R Edmonds, WA (Kamiak HS)
Jake Ross C FR R/R Covington, WA (Kentlake)

 

Pitchers


The Titans return just 2 pitchers, who threw significant innings in 2011, in right handers Matt Bell(Covington, WA / Kentwood HS) and Jeff Larabee(Des Moines, WA / Mt Rainier HS).


Bell, the only returning starter from last years rotation, was 2nd Team All-West Region in 2011. He posted a 6-2 record, a 2.70 ERA, 53 K, 18 BB, 32 Hits in 49 Innings. Bell, who has committed to the University of South Alabama for next year, will lead the rotation in 2012. Larabee was the 1st guy out of the pen last year posting a 3.45 ERA, 18 K, 8 BB in 31 Innings. He will compete for a spot in the rotation this year. One player who is not new to the Titan program but has yet to play is LHP Garrett Picha(Puyallup, WA / Puyallup HS). Picha, who will join Bell at South Alabama next year, suffered a knee injury last year forcing him to Redshirt. He'll be a fixture in the rotation.


Many Freshman will be expected to contribute significantly on the hill starting with LHP Tayler Saucedo(Maple Valley, WA / Tahoma HS). Saucedo will challenge for a spot in the rotation and is expected to have an impact. Tim Dean(Sammamish, WA / Eastlake HS) will push for a spot in the rotation or will solidify the bullpen. Sophomore's Talon Sisley(Covington, WA / Kentlake HS) and Jamie Daniel(Juneau, AK / Douglas HS), who contributed in 2011, are expected to have a greater role this year. Other Freshmen Ryan Skoubo(Bremerton, WA / Olympic HS) and Lukas Hinton(Yakima, WA / West Valley HS) showed promise in the Fall and should see innings this Spring. Two power arms in Freshmen Earl Fernandez(Tacoma, WA / Franklin Pierce) and Brandon Choate(Lynnwood, WA / Mountlake Terrace HS) look to compete for the closer role.


"We lost some key arms last year from our rotation, but I think we have replaced them with some quality pitchers for this year," says Mummert. "We have more depth in our bullpen that we didn't have last year, so that is a huge advantage for us with 4 games a weekend. If some young arms step up for us which I expect they will, I feel really good about our pitching staff going into this Spring."


PRIMARY PITCHERS RETURNING
Player R/L Cl.-Exp. W-L ERA IP BB SO Notable
Matt Bell RHP SO 6-2 2.70 ERA 49 INN 18 BB 53 K 2011 All-West Region, Signed at South Alabama
Jeff Larabee RHP SO 3-1 3,45 ERA 31 INN 8 BB 18 K
Garrett Picha LHP RS-FR DNP Due to ACL Injury. Signed at South Alabama


TOP NEWCOMERS-PITCHERS
Player R/L Cl. Hometown (2011 School)
Tayler Saucedo LHP FR Maple Valley, WA (Tahoma HS)
Tim Dean RHP FR Sammamish, WA (Eastlake HS)
Lukas Hinton RHP FR Yakima, WA (West Valley HS)

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