The baseball team at ABAC will look young for the upcoming 2020 season. Head coach Brandon Reeder said, “We will be as green as we’ve been since I have been here.” Reeder has recruited 28 freshmen to fill the team’s depth chart and seven transfers. Only a handful of players will return from the team last year.
One player comes to ABAC from a non-traditional background. Austin Craven pitched for Colquitt County in high school, and he graduated there in 2016. He didn’t go on to pitch in college but continued playing softball. Reeder received a tip about Craven and went to watch him pitch. It didn’t take long for Reeder to offer him a spot on the Stallion’s roster.
“The challenge is to stay healthy and keep the best nine guys on the field and not nursing injuries,” said Reeder.
Team captains have not been picked for the 2020 season. Instead, Reeder will monitor and observe his players during the fall and come up with a decision for team captains before the spring. After a hard 2019 season that was riddled with injuries, Reeder hopes to have a better season in 2020 despite having a young team.
“I feel like we have a lot of work ahead of us to get where we need to be,” said Reeder. “This incoming group reminds me a lot of the group that won a championship their freshmen season two years ago. This group seems focused on coming in and doing things the right way.”
The official season doesn’t start until spring 2020, but Reeder has scheduled 20 scrimmage games in the fall of 2019. Most of the games are on the road and the team will face off against several four-year colleges.
“There will be struggles and there will be some success,” said Reeder. “But we have to remain focused on our purpose.” A change-up in the usual schedule has occurred this year after West Georgia Technical College dropped their athletic department including their baseball team.
“I hate to see programs get dropped and limit the opportunities for athletes in our state,” said Reeder. “Losing them off our schedule has pushed everything back a week, so we start conference later.”
According to Reeder, the departure of West Georgia Tech means the Stallions will have an extra week to play out of conference to prepare the official season.
The first scrimmage games don’t start until September. The first game will be Sept. 12, against Gordon State College. The game will start at 2 p.m. and will happen at Gordon State College.
The first home game will happen Oct. 3, against South Georgia State College. The game will begin at 4 p.m.
For more information about ABAC baseball or ABAC athletics, contact Alan Kramer, the athletic director, by emailing email@example.com or calling 229-391-4928.