Greensboro, NC (10/03/02) - With the first pick in this year's Guilford Intrasquad World Series draft, Team Black selected junior outfielder/pitcher AJ McCauley and immediately tabbed itself as the favorite in the fifth annual Guilford College Fall Classic. Team Black hasn't lost a GCWS since 1998 when, sophomore Chad Coward earned three victories in Team Cardinal's 4-2 victory. Since Coward's trade to Team Black following that series, it has run off three straight GCWS wins.
This year's off season produced only one blockbuster trade as Team Cardinal sent seniors Luke Kempton and Gabe Staub along with sophomore Dave Shaffer to Team Black in exchange for senior Matt Webb and sophomores Josh Miller and Mike Balash. None of the principals was a significant factor in last year's series, when MVP Brad Franklin led Team Black to 3 games to 1 victory.
Rarely do trends hold true to form in the GCWS, but two constants have emerged over the past three years. Senior Zach Morgan has always played for Team Cardinal and has always lost. Having taken over as co-manager for the club, Morgan is optimistic.
"Finally, we have people running the club that will make sound baseball decisions. Our draft went very well, especially with the late round pick of Nathan Gavin. Did you know he is undefeated in six intrasquad games this fall?"
Morgan's co-management team was less conservative in their assessment of the upcoming series. Andrew Duffy, Mike Goettler, and Matt Webb in unison chirped, "They stink, we'll win in three." With no thunderstorms in the forecast, Goettler looks to start game one, but that has not yet been officially announced.
Team Black believes it can out-hit anybody and didn't even bother selecting a full-time pitcher until Dave Shaffer in the fourth round. Senior co-manager RJ Marks put it this way, "I leave here and go to work, I've been to 4 different schools, and I know guys who work third shift just so they can play ball at a community college. This is a vacation for me." Franklin, Kempton, and Staub, for their part were less wordy. Speaking for the group, Franklin said, "When's game one?"
Following a practice day on Thursday, the series will get underway on Friday with game one set to start at 2:45. Starting pitchers could be announced today at the conclusion of the team's media/scout day workouts.