CLAREMORE — “Eric Baker had an all-American year from his Gold Glove in the World Series to leading our team in hitting,” Bradley said. “He is an all-around player. His leadership, passion for the game and experience will be something we will rely on, especially in tight games. He is a difference maker. With his speed and experience he will carry the outfield with his gap-to-gap coverage.”
Colton Campbell will return for his senior season in left field after starting in all 65 games last season. He earned a conference Gold Glove, led the team in home runs (7) and drove in a team-leading 59 runs.
“Colton Campbell had a great year in left field a season ago; defensively he had an outstanding year,” Bradley said. “He is a lot better defensively than you would think; he is a big kid that runs well. He is a hard worker and I look for him to have another great year offensively for us.”
Senior Keith Poverud was RSU’s everyday starter in right field last season but after an injury sidelined him for much of the fall, the position was opened to some competition.
“Keith is penciled in as our everyday right fielder,” Bradley said. “Other guys in the mix are Blake Heston and Alex Cochran, who had really great preseasons. Whoever gets hot will play in right field. The versatility will help with matchups and we will be able to modify the lineup to our strengths.”
On the mound is where the Hillcats return the most experience and will serve as strength for the 2013 team. RSU returns seven hurlers from a season ago, including all three weekend starters who combined for 27 wins. Coach Bradley is expecting big things from the veteran pitchers who are paired with a talented group of newcomers.