Coming off a 8-25-2 2019 campaign, The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Baseball team hopes to build off of last season and put together a winning season. According to SMCMathletics, the team is welcoming in seven new freshmen. The ballclub is led by fourth year head coach, Bernie Stratchko.
One member of the team who has been a key player for the ballclub is Andy Collins (‘21). The junior from Arlington, Virginia is slated to play a key role for the Seahawks this season. Last season, Collins posted a .263 batting average in 80 at bats.
When asking Collins what the outlook for the season is, he stated “Overall the team is looking pretty solid for this upcoming season. I believe we have improved in all aspects of our game and we are really excited to see the results of all our hard work during the off-season.” While stating that the team has improved greatly off the off-season, he explained that he still recognizes what the team still needs to build off of from last season. Collins stated “We are definitely looking to continue our offensive success from last season. We have a lot of returners from last year who are very experienced at the collegiate level.” He went on to say “We have a few key players that suffered injuries that limited their play last year and having them back will be a huge addition. There were a couple series last season, Frostburg State and Salisbury mainly, where we really showed that we could compete with any team when we played our game. If we play like that the whole season we should be successful.”
One player who the ballclub is welcoming aboard for the upcoming season is James Becker (‘23). The outfielder from Hagerstown, Maryland is looking forward to his first year on the ballclub. When asking Becker what brought him to St. Mary’s he stated “The school provided excellent academic opportunities for my career path and the drive to bring home the school’s first conference championship.” Becker went on to mention his aspirations for the season, remarking “My personal aspirations are to do my job to the best of my ability and contribute to helping the team win.”
This season the team is hoping to have the chance at a title in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). CAC play begins on Saturday, March 28 when the team faces off against York College at their home field. While the conference schedule is strong, the team still has confidence in their ability to compete. Collins argues “We want to win. It’s a long season, about 40 games, before the CAC playoffs begin. We want to build our momentum as the season goes on so that we can make a deep run through the playoffs and take home the championship. We’re going to take it one game at a time and take care of business each day. This team is like a family and we’re all dedicated to doing whatever it takes to win.” Becker echoed the same sentiment of confidence when asked about the outlook of the team for the upcoming season as he stated the goal is to “compete at a higher level than ever before here at St. Mary’s.”
Collins reassured his faith in the coaching staff and their ability to guide the team to a successful season as he stated “Coach Stratchko is going to put us in the best situation to win every game. He’s coming into his fourth season as our head coach and he expects a lot from this team. Coach Willard and Coach Covey will be huge assets for us this season. All three coaches have been a driving force for this team and have shown complete dedication to this program.”
The team returns home to face off against Hampden-Sydney on Saturday, February 29 in a double header with the first game beginning at 11 a.m. Come out and support the Seahawks as they look to embark on a season full of successes and milestones.