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Baseball: LWC begins 2022 season with trip to William Carey

By Kyle Jackson

The 2022 Lindsey Wilson baseball team begins the 2022 season on the road with a matchup against (RV) William Carey University (Miss.) for a three-game series with the opening pitch of the new season scheduled for Friday at noon.

The Blue Raiders are coming off a 2021 campaign in which the team posted a 23-23 record with a 13-11 mark in Mid-South Conference play, both records were the program's best since the 2017 season where they went 27-25 while going 10-8 in conference play.

Lindsey Wilson will have a lot of new faces out in the field as well as in the dugout, as Ethan Utley begins the new regime of Blue Raider Baseball with his first season as head coach.

The Blue Raiders bring back two of their top five hitters from last season in Nico Martinez and Lucas Bault, as well as slugger Henry Paulino. The pitching duo of relief pitcher Kyle Collin and starting pitcher Cohen Achen also returns to the team for the 2022 season.

Martinez recorded the fifth-most runs (34), fourth-most doubles (9), and fourth-highest batting average (.310) to go along with 29 RBI's last season. Bault is coming off 7 doubles and a 30 RBI season while also garnering a .301 average at the plate. Other starters are also returning for the 2022 season, Austin Rayno was second on the team with 41 runs recorded and led the team with two triples and 25 walks. Rayno started every game for Lindsey Wilson last season. Paulino also returns to the team after leading the team in Home Runs (11), RBI's (39), and Slugging Percentage (.673).

As for pitching, Lindsey Wilson brings back four of the nine Blue Raiders to start a game last season as well as four relievers who made 10 or more appearances. Achen returns from a stellar 2020 season, recording a team-leading 2.38 ERA through 64.1 innings in seven starts, holding opposing batters to a .217 batting average which also led all starters on the team. Collin also returns to provide relief in the bullpen with a team tying 15 appearances, Collin led all relief pitchers last season with a 3.16 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .195 hitting percentage, which also leads the team for relief pitchers that appeared in more than 5 games last season.

(RV) William Carey comes in after a 36-12 record in 2020, winning the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship, and advancing to the NAIA Opening Round Finals. They are led by Bobby Halford who enters his 37th season as manager of the Crusaders.

The Crusaders come into the season losing one of their top pieces on offense as well as pitching in Sloan Dieter. Dieter was Carey's leading slugger in 2021, with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs, both team highs, as well as the Crusaders' top pitcher, with a 9-2 record, a 1.81 ERA, and 110 strikeouts in 94.2 innings.

This will be the first match up between the Blue Raiders and the Crusaders this season. The first pitch of the new season is scheduled to begin at Noon CT on Friday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A two-game doubleheader between these two teams will be played at Noon on Saturday. Live stats and live video will be available.

This story was posted on 2022-02-03 12:39:05
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