The Maryville College baseball team is off to a start that shows a lot of what the Scots have to offer for the 2010 campaign.
Maryville showed off its hitting ability in a weekend sweep that saw the Scots rake in 30 hits in two games, and it wasn’t a one-time fling.
After opening the season at 4-4, Maryville collected its seventh consecutive win with victories over Mt. Union, 10-4, and Oglethorpe, 10-1, at Scotland Yard. The Scots moved to 11-4 on the year with a .292 team batting average, Maryville averaging of 8.5 hits per game.
“The guys are being persistent, and things are beginning to materialize,” Maryville coach Daniel Washburn said. “We have some ability. These guys are resilient and have shown some toughness, which I like.”
Senior Jamey Davis and juniors Myles Cordell and Kyle Cyprysiak are the big sluggers for the Scots. Davis, who paces Maryville with a .717 slugging percentage and a .326 batting average, has been stellar with the bat. The former Heritage Mountaineer has also belted four home runs and is tied for team lead with Cordell.
As the Scots primary catcher, Davis owns a .978 fielding percentage defensively.
Cordell, Maryville’s transfer shortstop from Walters State Community College, has played an equally big role in the Scots season. Slugging .681 and batting .340, Cordell currently leads the Scots in RBI with 14. Cyprysiak is excelling at the designated hitter spot, batting .304 on the season. Adding two homers and 12 RBI, he’s lifted his slugging average to .500.
That’s Maryville at the bat this season, only it isn’t just how well the Scots are hitting the ball.
Washburn has come out strong on this season on getting base runners in scoring position. Stolen bases are playing a major part in Maryville’s success to date, Scots base runners making good on 42 of 51 attempts. Davis and the rest of Maryville’s receivers are cutting down opponents at a 10-for-17 pace by comparison.
Senior left fielder Junior Valentine provides much of the speed for the Scots on the bases. The Cosby native is a perfect 13-of-13 in stolen-base attempts, proving a threat to reach scoring position every time he gets on.
“I think you want to play to your strengths, and we’ve got several guys that run very, very well,” Washburn said. “We spend a lot of time in practice on that, and I think it comes down to managing your strengths.
“One of our strengths is the athleticism of our guys. We’ve been aggressive, and I’m proud of the way we’re running.”
The defensive side of the ball also has been big for the diamond Scots this season. Maryville pitchers aren’t messing around, compiling a team average ERA of 3.89 in preventing runs from crossing the plate.
Right-hander Robert Brown, currently 4-0 on the season, leads the way. In 27.2 innings pitched, with two complete games under his belt, the junior from Jacksonville, Fla., has an ERA of 2.60. His 24 strikeouts against five walks are scary good.
With players like Davis, Cordell, Cyprysiak and Brown leading the charge, the Scots are a strong threat to repeat as Great South Athletic Conference champions, not to mention a possible NCAA bid.
“We’re playing well, but I still believe our best baseball is still in front of us,” Washburn said.
Maryville next hosts Oberlin College in a midday doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for noon. The two teams conclude the series with a twinbill on Sunday, first pitch again at noon.