SEASON OUTLOOK

The 2005 season for the Union University Bulldogs is one of the most promising in recent history. The Bulldogs combine a returning core to a very impressive recruiting class. Union is returning three infield starters, two outfield starters, and a catcher that was in the lineup everyday as a catcher or in someother position. In addition to those returning starters, Head Coach Andy Rushing and Assistant Coach Brent Fronabarger have added a group of players that will earn starting time immediately including eight new position players to go along with six new pitchers. A few key injuries to starters Jason Johnson and Zach Lowery will cause Union to have to pull from the new talent until these return to the lineup shortly after the season begins. As always, Union is striving to advance deep into the NAIA postseason. Union missed the postseason last year, but have reloaded and are eager to erase the dissapointment of last season with a very successful 2005.

Taking a look at the pitching staff, Clint Arthur returns as a weekend starter. He has an impressive freshman campaign last season and looks to improve on that in 2005. Adam Yates returns after red-shirting last season to recover from surgery. Yates will also hold down a spot in the weekend rotation. Matt Gibbs and Garrett Pepper return as spot starters. Both has good seasons in 2004 and both will be called on to start during the week and provide relief out of the pen on the weekends. John Mark Walls returns to provide relief out of the pen. The list of pitchers new to the 2005 roster is quite impressive, especially when you see that Union has added four pitchers that are 6-foot-5 or taller. Leading the list are transfers Daniel Adams and Charlie Ligon with Adams filing the final spot in the weekend rotation. The two other 6-foot-5 pitchers are transfer Brian Lea and freshman Ben Ayris. Freshman Josh Moss and Tim Watson will also help anchor a very deep bulpen for the Bulldogs. Freshman James Brasfield and Judson Powers will both be everyday players, but will also see time on the mound. This season’s pitching staff has several players that could pitch on the weekends during conference play and will come in handy during postseason tournament time.

The infield for Union returns Josh Allen at first, Seth Silcock at third and Steve Sweat will move from shortstop to second base this season season. Zach Lowery, split time as catcher his freshman season in 2004, will handle the catching duties upon his return form his injury. Pepper, along with transfer Adam Green and freshman Elvis Sosa will give backup to the catching position. Transfer Scott Patterson will start at shortstop for the Bulldogs. Jeffery Jackson returns as a valuable utility player that can play on the infield or in the outfield. Transfer Aaron Braithwaile is another player that can play first, outfield, or be the designated hitter. Freshman James Brasfield, Andrew Maddox, and Steve Bredfeldt each turned heads this fall as freshman and will be very valuable players on this deep Union team.

In the outfield, two of the three starters from last season are returning including seniors Patrick Williams in center and Jason Johnson in right field. Johnson is injured to start the 2005 season but will return during the year. Freshman Judson Powers will start in left field for Union. Players such as Braithwaile, Jackson, and Tyler Porter will serve as replacements in the spot vacated by Johnson. Porter also serves as the pinch/courtesy runner for the Bulldogs.

 

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