By: Evan Anderson

DOVER, Del. - The Wesley College baseball team is looking to rebuild and start fresh in the inaugural season of the Atlantic East Conference.

After finishing their final season in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) with an overall record of 10-23 and 4-14 in the CAC, the team was projected to finish fourth according to the Atlantic East Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll with 21 points. Ahead of them were Gwynedd Mercy, Neumann, and Cabrini.

The Wolverines lost a huge group of seniors from last year, led by Chris Seibert and Alex Marrs. Seibert was an All-American power hitter for the Wolverines and was the second All-American that eighth-year head coach Bret Underwood has coached at Wesley. Alex Marrs was a two-time CAC pitcher on the mound for the Wolverines.

With almost an entirely new team this year, Coach Underwood has some returning upperclassmen that can take the steps to help lead this team with a lot of youth. Catcher/designated hitter William Foster will look to take on the role as one of the senior leaders on the team this year. Foster appeared in 26 games in 2018 with a .303 batting average, which ranked second on the team. Foster also added three home runs, 30 hits, 17 RBIs, eight doubles and a triple.

"I think Will is going to be a big part of our offensive success," said Underwood. "He's a good utility guy so he'll play a little bit of outfield, a little bit of infield and designated hitter, but he's going to be a big part of our offensive plans moving forward."

Along with Foster, junior John Joines and sophomores Kevin Schmitt, Jordan Marucci, Jason Boc and Kyle Schneider all return to the lineup in 2019 after seeing significant playing time a season ago.

The pitching rotation will lean on some young players this season led by sophomores Darin Matthews, Eric Martin, and Matt Ortiz. Mathews appeared in five games as a freshman and collected two wins. Ortiz played in four games last season, including one start, while sophomore Eric Martin appeared in a pair of games.

"We are young. We will have to grow and grow quickly. My job is to put the best nine guys out there. We are going to continue to work hard in practice and continue to evaluate guys. We'll do the best job we can to put guys in positions to be successful."

The Wolverines open the season playing in Fayetteville, N.C. starting on Friday, Feb. 15 when they take on the Frostburg St. Bobcats in a doubleheader.