2013 FCC Baseball Preview
In just its second year of existence the Florida Christian College Suns Baseball program has already begun to build quite a resume- national runner-up at the NCCAA World Series, four NCCAA All-Americans, and the NCCAA South Region Player of the Year, along with four other ALL-Region selections; and all this from just the program’s first year. Now Suns Baseball stands on that solid foundation and moves into a very promising year number two. Following his “Coach of the Year” type start to the program last season Head Coach, Jon Copeland, is excited for the 2013 season, “The progression we made in recruiting and in our fall program is significant, and this year’s squad should reap the benefits of that and compete very well”, stated Copeland. Here is glimpse at the 2013 edition of Suns Baseball:
Pitching: The Suns return 2012 South Region Player of the Year, Eric Santamaria (So., Miami, FL), who, as a two-way player, finished 3-3 with four saves. They also return All-Region Honorable Mention, Hansel Lazo (So., Hialeah Gardens, FL), Andres Cancio (So., Orlando, FL), who tossed a complete game shutout at the NCCAA World Series, and Carey Emmerke (So., Chelsea, AL). Big editions come in the form of Nick Beavers (So., Deltona, FL) a transfer from NCAA DII Limestone College, who was a red-shirt last season and Elim Perritte (So., Powder Springs, GA), a transfer from Point University. The Suns also brought in eight freshman pitchers with their ’12 recruiting class, including top recruits Taylor Cornelius (Fr., Bartow, FL), Justin Tate (Fr., Brandon, FL), Zach Mahan (Fr., Leesburg, FL) and Angel Domenech (Fr., Miami, FL); and the Suns also look for Joseph Terazon (Fr., Hialeah Gardens, FL), Stephen Reyes (Fr., Miami, FL), Adam Rasmussen (Fr., Clearwater, FL) and Richard Barbella (Fr., Miami, FL) to contribute on the mound. “To have fourteen arms, with experience and depth is a big difference for us from last season. We had an all-freshman pitching staff, along with some injuries and attrition that hampered us at times last year; our main recruiting goal was to eliminate that for this season”, said Copeland.
Infield: The Suns return their entire starting infield from last season, including All-Americans Santamaria (.438 BA/ .518 SLG/ .466 OBP) Mark Vidal (So., Orlando, FL- .414/.581/.485)All-Region 2B Cancio (.366/.553/.404), and Vince Tome (So., Naples, FL- .331 BA). Anthony Garcia (Jr., Miami, FL), Austin Gould (Sr., Sarasota, FL) and Emmerke also return and will contend for playing time. The infield has been bolstered by the addition of top recruits Ramon Cedeno (RS Fr., Kissimmee, FL) a transfer from NCAA DII power the U. of Tampa and Mahan. The Suns also have depth with Terazon, Emmerke, Fabian Hance (Fr., Miami, FL) and Donnie Evans (Fr., Ocoee, FL). “Our infield is a definite strength for us; and now with experience and more depth they will be pushing each other to be even better this season”, stated Copeland.
Outfield: The Suns return two starters in the outfield, speedster Harry Amadeo (So., Orlando, FL- .333 BA, 19 SB’s) and Ty Quidort (So., Titusville, FL- .321, 3 HR’s, .625 Slug.%). Top recruits Perritte (who had an outstanding freshman season at Point U.), Casey Elkins (Jr., Ocala, FL), a transfer from the top program at the College of Central Florida, and David Quintero (Fr., Miami, FL) another burner, give the Suns a variety of options. Rasmussen and Kevin Ramirez (Fr., Orlando, FL) add to the depth and talent of a much deeper outfield than last season. “Our 2012 recruiting season was very kind to our outfield, we have a lot of speed and talent that will be vying for playing time”, observed Copeland.
Catching: All-American and Hank Burbidge Award winner, Erick Figueroa (Sr., Jacksonville, FL- .388/.594/.451) moves from the OF to behind the plate this season and is joined by a trio of talented recruits including Adam Tewksbury (So., Okeechobee, FL), a transfer from Indian River CC, Josiah Candelaria (So., Sanford, FL), a transfer from Ranger JC in Texas, and Randy Petito (Fr., Cape Coral, FL). “We have significantly improved out talent and depth behind the plate from last season, which was another goal for us in our recruiting”, said Copeland.
Outlook: The Suns return a major portion of the team that played in last season’s national championship game, along with a talented group of transfer recruits, so they will feature a group with experience- a luxury they did not have last year ,with mostly freshmen players. The success from last season also translated into a bumper crop of skilled recruits that add to the level of depth that last season’s roster lacked. These elements are important because of what this season holds, “We play a more competitive regular season with more NAIA and NCAA II opponents than last year; and we are not going to sneak up on anyone this time”, Copeland acknowledged. “We must continue to improve and strive for excellence. That is the progression that this program must take- college baseball in Florida is naturally very competitive; but it also makes for a lot of fun and provides a great platform for our faith in Christ”. Last season the Suns set the bar for the program high; but this year, the 2013 team have their sights set even higher.
The Suns begin the 2013 season this Friday, February 1st, at 3pm at the Astros Spring Training Complex, when they host Ave Maria University for the beginning of a three-game series.
more information and all the latest news and scores!