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The Millersville Marauders baseball team definitely took a step back in the 2017 season after their 2016 Division II National Championship appearance. The Marauders finished 34-19 and made the NCAA Atlantic Regional, but finished just fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East (PSAC) last season.
Losing outfielder Chas McCormick to the Houston Astros in the 21st round and fellow impact seniors, outfielder Dan Neff, catcher Mitch Stolzfus, and infielder David Summerfield to graduation will prove costly. Although an incoming class of ten true freshmen, three redshirt freshmen, and three Division I transfers, should help lessen the blow.
The Marauders will heavily rely upon senior second baseman Ted Williams, redshirt junior catcher Ben Snyder, junior reliever Mike Mock, and junior number-one starter Eli Nabholz, entering 2017. After All-Star summer league showings, redshirt freshman pitcher Jacob Bowman, sophomore pitcher Chris Blair, and shortstop Eric Callahan, will need to continue their success into regular season if the Marauders hope to bounce back in 2018.
One of the biggest questions Millersville faces going into 2018 will be how will they replace McCormick and Neff in the outfield. One of the starting spots could go to 2017’s platoon left fielder Sophomore Brookens Manning who started 36 games last year and looks to build upon his solid freshman campaign slash-line of .270/.328/.304. Sophomore Cole Friese is the other half of last year’s left field platoon. He will look to grab a starting spot and improve his .273/.403/.327 slash from a year ago. The final two outfield spots will be up for grabs amongst sophomore Brandon White, redshirt junior Aaron Taylor, Boston College junior transfer Dominic Hardaway, freshman Parker Savage, freshman Mark Miller, and Isaiah Lockette.
The final question the Marauders have going into 2018 is who will step up behind standout junior starter Eli Nabholz (7-2 3.00 ERA in 2017). In 2017 the other three main starters Tyler Yankosky, David Manasek, and Cordell Shannon combined to go 12-10 in 35 starts with a .244 batting average against, and a 4.96 ERA. Hopefully with the 17 pitchers on their roster entering the 2018 season, Millersville will find a solid arm to follow up Nabholz.
If Millersville can find a way to replace McCormick and Neff’s production and improve their starting pitching depth, the Marauders could find their way back to the College World Series.