Commodore Baseball Season Preview
Part 3: Pitching

Jan. 31, 2007

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Junior ace David Price (9-5, 4.16 ERA) returns after setting the school record for single-season strikeouts with 155 in 110.1 innings in 2006. He was named a third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in all of college baseball. The Murfreesboro native is geared up to have his finest season in a Commodore uniform in 2007.

Senior closer Casey Weathers (1-1, 3.33 ERA) had a dominant summer in the Alaska Baseball League, recording eight saves. He was 1-0 in 18 relief appearances with a 0.84 ERA and struck out 25 batters in 21.1 innings. The California native capped off his summer by being added to the USA Baseball National Team. The flamethrower has consistently thrown 94-97 miles per hour and will be the man at the end of games for the Commodores.

Several pitchers will have a chance to complement Price in the starting rotation. Sophomore Nick Christiani (3-4, 4.79 ERA) had a strong showing in the fall. Also in a position to challenge for a rotation spot are juniors Cody Crowell (6-2, 3.95 ERA) and Ty Davis (5-5, 3.91 ERA) and senior Stephen Shao (2-3, 3.62 ERA).

Sophomores Josh Zeid (0-1, 5.24 ERA) and Brett Jacobson (2-0, 4.20 ERA) each progressed well over the summer and fall and will be counted on heavily in a variety of roles.

Juniors Cameron Betourne (1-1, 2.56 ERA) and Tyler Rhoden (3-1, 4.81 ERA) are battle tested veterans that will be counted on again to pitch in key situations.

Freshman Mike Minor stood out in the fall and may get a chance to see action in possibly a starter's role.

One player that turned out to be a surprise and who has garnered the coaches attention is southpaw Jason Cunningham. He served as one of the team managers last season and made the squad this year after consistently performing well over the fall.

Freshmen Caleb Cotham, Richie Goodenow and Mark Lamm along with junior Stephen Schwartz all have a quality arms and will be cornerstones of the future.

Corbin's Comments

"We go into the year with some depth in pitching, but outside of David (Price), there are some questions still to be answered as far as the weekend starting rotation," said Corbin. "I think we could go in five different ways with the starters. Cody Crowell, Stephen Shao, Ty Davis, Nick Christiani and possibly Mikie Minor depending on his development could vy for spots. Compared to recent years, where we had spots defined by the winter, know we have five or six guys that are relatively even in what they can do. I think the strength behind that is whoever doesn't start can move into a relief role, allowing us to put in a guy who may be just as good as the starter. This should avoid any dips caused when changing pitchers and give us balance throughout the staff.



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