#27 South Alabama Baseball 2018 Preview

South Alabama Jaguars
Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #1 Sun Belt
 South Alabama Logo
South Alabama had another successful campaign in 2017, winning 40 games and reaching the NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars should again have one of the most potent offenses in the nation, but it is on the mound where South Alabama often struggled and has the most to replace heading into 2018. Randy Bell, Matt Peacock and Thomas Huston all need to be replaced. Tyler Carr is the likely candidate to turn into the ace of the staff. As a sophomore last year he went 7-2 with a 4.64 ERA.
2017: 40-21, 22-8
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Calvi
Key Departed Players:
Jared Barnes, C, .320 BA, 13 HR, 50 RBI
Randy Bell, P, 3.69 ERA, 107.1 IP, 96 SO
Matt Peacock, P, 2.96 ERA, 51.2 IP, 56 SO, 10 SV
Thomas Huston, P, 4.33 ERA, 72.2 IP, 57 SO
Key Returning Players:
Dylan Hardy, OF/IF .363 BA, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 18 SB
Travis Swaggerty, OF, .356 BA, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 19 SB
Brendan Donovan, IF/OF, .336 BA, 9 HR, 46 RBI
Drew LaBounty, IF, .301 BA, 4 HR, 42 RBI
Wells Davis, IF, .293 BA, 14 HR, 57 RBI
Tyler Carr, P, 4.64 ERA, 77.2 IP, 66 SO
Even if Coach Mark Calviā€™s pitching staff struggles this year, the offense should do more than enough to get South Alabama back towards the top of the Sun Belt standings. The Jaguars return two players who belted at least ten homeruns and drove in at least 50 runs. Travis Swaggerty hit .356 and stole 19 bases on top of his 11 long balls and 60 RBIs. Wells Davis led the squad with 14 homeruns and added 57 RBIs. Those two are a great duo to build around, but this team has plenty of other proven hitters in the lineup. Dylan Hardy led the Sun Belt with a .363 batting average. He also stole 18 bases. Brendan Donovan hit .336 with nine homeruns and 46 RBIs as a sophomore and should be in for a huge junior campaign. With so much talent at the plate, South Alabama can beat anybody on any given day. However, to make a serious impact in the NCAA Tournament, the Jaguars must be more consistent on the mound.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament