Baseball NEWS

Baseball team wraps up fall season

December 14, 2015

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Even though there is a new sheriff in town for the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) baseball team, fans can expect to see some familiar players and the same tenacity from them on the field.

“We have a very veteran group,” said new head baseball coach Frank Jagoda. “I am very excited about the team I inherited and the entire club as a whole.”

Last season, the Patriots finished the season 39-16 overall and 14-5 in conference play. The team saw their season come to an end in the Southeast District Tournament on their home field.

“They have tasted some great success but also defeat to end the season last year,” Jagoda said. “I hope we can use that to fuel even greater success this year.”

After seeing the team in action during the fall scrimmages, the Patriot’s skipper has a better idea of the team’s abilities and the expectations for the upcoming season.

“They have what it takes to compete,” he said. “They have shown spurts of competing at the highest level and we need that consistently. They know I like to compete at the highest level and that is what I expect.”

With a veteran group returning for the Patriots, Jagoda is excited about the experience and leadership returning. Among the players returning are sophomores Jack Maynard (Crozet), Yashuan Santiago (Puerto Rico), Jonah McRyenolds (Martinsville) and Rashad Stewart (Dinwiddie).

Returning pitchers Maynard and Santiago are key for the Patriots success this season, according to Jagoda. Maynard finished last season with a 9-3 record and a 1.36 ERA, while Santiago went 9-1 with a 1.82 ERA.

“Jack is one of the top arms in the conference and a true leader on the mound,” Jagoda said about his ace pitcher. “He can command his pitches and I expect him to have a great season before he continues his career at UNC-Greensboro next year. Yashuan has a very high ceiling and will be a mainstay in the rotation. Both of these pitchers have the ability to guide us to a Region X championship.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Jagoda said the Patriots will lean on McReynolds and Stewart to carry the team. Last season, McReynolds had a .376 batting average with 21 RBIs, while Stewart finished with a .361 batting average, 27 RBIs and led the team in stolen bases with 31. Both will start near the top of the batting order and set the tone for the Patriot’s offense according to Jagoda.

“Both of them [McReynolds and Stewart] are extremely talented and will get our offense going,” said Jagoda. Jonah will also be a key contributor at shortstop for us. Again, here are two guys going to the next level, with Jonah going to North Carolina A&T and Rashad going to Winston-Salem State.”

The Patriots will also look to benefit from transfers that joined the program in the offseason. Left-handed hitters Ryan Coale and Brandon Nania transferred to PHCC from Virginia Commonwealth University and Slippery Rock University, respectively. Also transferring to PHCC was Kemper Terry, a left-handed pitcher from Longwood University.

“The transfers that have come in will look to make an immediate impact this spring,” said Jagoda. “Ryan and Brandon will solidify the middle of our order and will really move the baseball. Kemper will play a large role in pitching quality innings for us. I’m excited to have them and they’re excited to be here.”

While Jagoda was a little more familiar with the returning players and transfers, he said that the fall scrimmages gave him an opportunity to “see what they had to offer and what they need to work on.”

“We’ve got some quality freshman that really developed and brought it together towards the end of the fall,” said Jagoda. “I’m expecting several of them to contribute this spring.”

While the fall season gave the Patriots an opportunity to grow and get back on the field, the new head coach is chomping at the bit to get the season started.

“I’m ready to see what this team has in them and what we can do together this season,” said Jagoda with a grin on his face. “We’re excited to toe it up and get to playing baseball again.”

The Patriots open the season at USC-Lancaster for a weekend series on February 13 and 14. They will play their first home series against rival Louisburg College, with double-headers on February 20 and 21.

Filed under: Baseball