Faulkner baseball a mix of returning players, new faces
by Larry White
BAY MINETTE - The Faulkner State Community College baseball team has been working hard in anticipation of their season opening game on February 9.
Longtime head baseball coach Wayne Larker has his squad getting ready for the opener at Northwest Florida in Niceville, Florida.
"The weather this new year has been tough at the beginning but nice of late," Larker said recently.
"We always get a late start practicing and will be full speed on February 9 when we open up."
"I'm not worried about that because our early games are all non conference in February. As always, we will use this month as our spring training," Larker added.
"Most of the pitchers will pitch themselves in shape throwing one of two innings at a time."
Larker spent the fall season and this early part of the year evaluating and now has his roster in order.
"We have narrowed the roster down and have identified the redshirts for 2010. We now have 31 players on the roster, which is about normal," Larker said.
The Sun Chief skipper was looking forward to fielding a veteran infield in 2010.
"Our infield looks to be filled by sophomores with shortstop (Daniel) Wass and third baseman (Josh) Huggins (of Bay Minette) leading the way. Sophomore Randall Kizer and freshman Brett Langham (also of Bay Minette) are battling it our at second.
Larker says his outfield is undecided right now.
"Our outfield could be a merry go round of players with (Andrew) Prichard being the only steady in right field."
"Behind the plate we have three guys battling with (Stephen) Clarke looking like the front runner right now," Larker added.
As always, Larker and assistant/pitching coach Chris Copeland will bring the pitching staff along slowly.
"Most all of the pitchers will see action early," Larker said.
After the opener in Niceville, Faulkner remains on the road for games in Andalusia (L.B. Wallace on Feb. 13), Poplarville, Mississippi (Pearl River on February 16) and Summit, Mississippi (Southwest Mississippi on February 20).
They then open at home on February 23 against East Mississippi with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Stanley James Field on the FSCC campus in Bay Minette.
That starts a twelve game homestand with Northwest Shoals, Jeff Davis, Mineral Area, and Pearl River all coming to Stanley James to play.
Faulkner's schedule has 55 games listed with 29 of them slated for the home field in Bay Minette.