By Barron Demons
The baseball season for Pensacola State College (PSC) is in full swing, and with a heavy recruiting class, the Pirates have a chance to improve from last season.
Head Baseball Coach Bryan Lewallyn signed 20 new players after being undermanned last year and looks to continue to build his team for the season.
“We only had about 18 players last year and were allowed 26. We were also limited in a lot of areas and having a year to have a full recruiting class gave us the opportunity to go out and try to fill needs,” said Lewallyn.
The team will be without some of their key players from last year including Willie Carter who signed with Georgia Gwinnett, Drake Cabe who signed with University of New Orleans and Peyton LaCoste who signed with University of Louisiana Monroe. The Pirates will look to pick up where those players left off and bring their talents to the 2018 season.
In addition to the big recruiting class, Lewallyn and his staff were able to bring in two players from Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico, which is a territory of the United States, saw 23 of its native players appear in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game in 2016 (according to bleacherreport.com). Luis Colon from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Bryan Eusebio from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, find themselves on the Pirate baseball team.
“[Eusebio] has some tools as an outfield and some power being in the middle of the order,” said Lewallyn. “And he wanted to be here,” said Lewallyn. “That’s been a big thing for us. We want guys that want to be here and want to be a part of us.”
The Pirates went on a 5-game winning streak in the middle of last year’s season but unfortunately lost their last ten games to end the season. As for conference play, the Pirates only saw three wins and will come into the season to improve their conference record.
“As far as winning conference, we have to win that first game,” said Lewallyn. “Then we have to win the game after that. We haven’t looked at an overall goal just yet because we can’t win 24 conference games all at once. We have to worry about that one in front of us.”
The Pirates’ last regular season game was April 26 last year and have had the opportunity this offseason to improve on all aspects of the game.
Coach Lewallyn has been pleased with his team this off-season not only on the playing field but in the classroom.
“Some of the young guys are still learning, but I’m pleased with our GPA, we gotten stronger in the weight room and guys are starting to learn what we’re requiring of them.”
Coach Lewallyn and his staff signed three transfers and 13 freshman to the team to help improve from last year’s season.
“I don’t think we’re there yet, but they’re learning and moving in the right direction,” said Lewallyn.
The Pirates late surge not enough as they fall 2-1 to the Coastal Alabama-South Sun Chiefs.
The low scoring game saw many defensive plays, and both teams were well-prepared for their opponents lineup.
Scoring the first run of the game was James Parris. He was able to score after a hit from Griffin Rivers who also picked up the RBI.
In the ninth inning, Bucky McGlamry hit a standup double to put the winning run at the plate.
Malique Foreman took a few pitches and finally saw his pitch-to-hit. Foreman made contact sending the ball in right field but resulted in a pop fly ending the game. The Pirates are now 1-4 on the season and will look to grasp a win in their next game at Coastal Alabama-East.