2007 Baseball Season Outlook

Rookie head coach Nick Black's '02 Quakers posted a 24-18 overall record in 2006, 10-8 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Guilford won over 20 games for the sixth straight season and set the school standard with a .337 team batting average. The Quakers' campaign ended in the six-team ODAC Baseball Tournament for the fourth time in five years with a fourth-place showing.

Guilford returns a strong core of 19 letterwinners for the 2007 season. Leading the way for the Quakers will be senior Chad Boone. He should again patrol right field and hit in the middle of the order. Last season Boone hit .331 with 37 runs scored and five homers, and added six outfield assists. He may also contribute some innings on the mound as a senior.

PITCHING: The 2007 staff features many new faces after coming off a season where Guilford finished with a 4.32 team earned run average and an opponent's batting average of .281. Joe Overby anchors the staff after leading the Quakers with a 2.90 earned run average in 31.0 innings of relief work last season. Along with Boone, junior Andrew McClannon and sophomore Jared Via will also be asked for innings this season. McClannon boasted a .067 opponent's batting average against in 2006 and Via sported a 4.02 earned run average in 15.2 innings. Sophomore outfielder Joe John and newcomers Jay Laramore, Reid Maclean and Paul Keenan will round out the majority of innings for the Quakers.

CATCHING: Behind the dish this season will be junior Phil Drew. Drew, who played much of 2006 in left field, takes over for Andrew Lerner '06. Drew hit .279 (43-154) in 41 starts last season including a team leading three triples. Backing up Drew will be two freshmen, Sean Corbett and Josh Lane who are able to play multiple positions on the field.

INFIELD: Second baseman Ian Spector is lone veteran infielder in 2007. Spector hit .339 with 21 runs scored and was second on the team in sacrifice bunts (12). He also boasted a .941 fielding percentage. Starting at third base this season will be Michael Costa, who played a backup role to graduate Mike Chelenza '06 last season. In Costa's three starts he recorded a triple while recording a .923 fielding percentage. At first base a pair of freshmen, Laramore and Alex Starbuck, will compete for the job after the graduation of Rob Bittner '06. Laramore showed some great defensive ability in the fall while Starbuck impressed with strong hitting. The shortstop position will be will be a battle between junior Zach Schlesinger and freshman Drew Ward. Schlesinger played in a reserve role last season and hit .368 in 12 games with five stars at second base. This fall Schlesinger showed the ability to swing the bat and had good range defensively. Ward had a good fall as well and has the ability to get rid of the ball quickly. The person swinging the best bat will most likely get the starting nod.

OUTFIELD: Boone and John are back in right and center fields, respectively. John hit .328 with 21 runs, six doubles and four homers and added four outfield assists in his freshman season. Senior Ben Bizier takes over in left field. Last season he hit .310 in 18 games as a defensive replacement. This season, Bizier will hit at the top of the order. Rounding out the outfielders are Terrance Penn, Mike Braverman, Byron Myers and Michael Raymond.

DESIGNATED HITTER (DH): Three student-athletes, Brian Burton, Trieston Burnette and Myers, are competing for the DH spot this season. Burton hit .263 with three doubles in five starts at DH last year, while Burnette hit .279 with three doubles in eight starts.In 2005, Burton earned Second Team All-ODAC.

The Quakers once again have complied a difficult schedule. In addition to an ODAC slate that includes 2006 NCAA Regional participants Bridgewater and Virginia Wesleyan, the Quakers play most of the USA South Athletic Conference with games against Ferrum, Methodist, Shenandoah, Christopher Newport, and Averett. Guilford continues its cross town rivalry with Greensboro in a home-and-home match-up. The Quakers will host the Pride February 28, while the March 28 game will be held at First Horizon Park in downtown Greensboro. The Quakers also square off against Piedmont and New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) member Rutgers-Newark. Guilford opens the 2007 season February 3 against Christopher Newport.

2007 Baseball Season Outlook
January 11, 2007 2007 Baseball Season Outlook