#24 Texas Baseball 2018 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
Texas Logo
Texas entered last season with some serious questions, but Coach David Pierce managed to get the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament. It was strong and consistent pitching that led the way. Texas ranked ninth in the country and first in the Big 12 in earned run average. Junior Nolan Kingham will be the ace of the staff after going10-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 2017. Blair Henley had his moments as a part-time starter during his freshman campaign and he could emerge as a quality option to help replace Morgan Cooper. The bullpen is in good shape too with Beau Ridgeway back in the closer position. He tallied a dozen saves last season with an impressive 1.89 ERA.
2017: 39-24, 11-12
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: David Pierce
Key Departed Players:
Kacy Clemons, IF, .305 BA, 12 HR, 49 RBI
Travis Jones, IF/OF, .253 BA, 4 HR, 32 RBI
Bret Boswell, IF, .273 BA, 7 HR, 33 RBI
Morgan Cooper, P, 2.32 ERA, 6-3 W-L, 89.1 IP, 110 SO
Nick Kennedy, P, 3.02 ERA, 8-2 W-L, 53.2 IP, 59 SO
Key Returning Players:
David Hamilton, IF, .218 BA, 0 HR, 20 RBI
Kody Clemens, IF, .241 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI
Nolan Kingham, P, 2.48 ERA, 10-4 W-L, 92.0 IP, 67 SO
Beau Ridgeway, P, 1.89 ERA, 2-2 W-L, 52.1 IP, 40 SO, 12 SV
Coach Pierce will have to quickly turn around the offense if Texas is going to compete for a conference title. It will not be easy without Kacy Clemons, Bret Boswell and Travis Jones. Those were three of the more productive hitters on the team, led by Clemons and his .305 batting average, 12 homeruns and 49 RBIs. Kody Clemens may take over for his older brother as the team’s top hitter. Despite being limited to the designated hitter spot due to offseason Tommy John surgery, Clemens hit five homeruns with 23 RBIs. Sophomores like Austin Todd and David Hamilton will need to help pick up the slack. Texas has talent, but much of it is unproven. However, if the pitching staff performs like they did in 2017, Texas will not need too much offense to reach the NCAA Tournament and potentially make a run once they get there.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament