PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana College baseball team kicks off its 2020 season on Saturday, looking for a piece of history for the team’s head coach as Mike Byrnes begins the year just one win shy of the 400-career win milestone as the Wildcats open against Alma College at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.
The Wildcats look to build off one of the most successful seasons in program history where LC not only hit the 30-win mark, but successfully defended the home turf, finishing 19-1 inside the friendly confines of Billy Allgood Field. The 31 wins in 2019 brought Head Coach Mike Byrnes, who’s been the Wildcats head coach since 2000, to 399 career wins. The 2019 team finished with a 31-12 record.
The Wildcat pitching staff will be bolstered by the return of last season’s top pitcher and the presumed ace this season, Andrew Robinson. Robinson dropped just one of his ten decisions a season ago and finished with a 3.26 ERA. Also returning is 2019 top bullpen arm and spot starter Konnor McDermott, who went 5-1 from the mound.
Meanwhile, the offense will look to be led by returner Brady Atkins, who finished 2019 hitting .379 with nine doubles and a triple. For the big boppers, Christian Vandergrift and Dane Pedersen are the top returning home run hitters, as both sent five over the fence last season. Keelyn Johnson had 18 extra base hits a season ago for the top returning slugging percentage.
In the American Southwest Conference’s preseason poll, Louisiana College was picked to finish fourth in the ten-team league.
For opening weekend, Alma College (19-24, 14-14 MIAA in 2019) comes down from Michigan for a three-game series. Saturday’s season-opening doubleheader between the Wildcats and Scots is set for a 1:00 P.M. first pitch at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.