ANGELO STATE RAMS (37-12)
It incredible that the Rams have been only playing DII baseball for less than ten seasons. Despite not having program rich in tradition ASU has been able to win four conference championships and has already made an appearance in the DII CWS. The team looked like they could make their second appearance in the final eight last year, but despite a strong run, had trouble winning some crucial close games. In the Rams’ tenth season the goal will once again be a national championship. Head Coach Kevin Brooks, who has been the ASU skipper since day one, believes that the returning roster is just as formable as any he’s had in San Angelo and if they can stay healthy they could be dog-piling in Cary.
The offense received a jolt when shortstop Christian Summers turned down an opportunity to play for professional baseball. Summer was drafted by the Padres following the season in which he led the team with a .339 average, amassed 19 doubles, seven triples and stole 17 stolen bases while playing solid shortstop. Reggie Rodriguez, an All LSC Second Team selection last season, is another invaluable offensive threat. The senior outfielder hit .323 last season with 21 extra-base. If Rodriguez can boost his on-base percentage with some patience at the plate, the Rams will always be a threat to score early. Senior Tyler Coughenour, led the always aggressive Rams on the base paths with 25 stolen bases and hit .299 in his first year after transferring from Wichita State. Coughenour was the Kansas Player of the Year as a high school senior and still has a cache of potential on the diamond. David Goggin was the conference’s pick as freshman of the year and should grow to be an asset as well after hitting .279 his first year on campus.
Pitching looks promising for the Rams. Jake Feckley transferred to ASU from Texas A&M two years ago and has been solid on the mound since joining the team. Since arriving in San Angelo Feckley has gone 15-8 with a 3.22 ERA. Last season he had a team leading ten wins, a 2.56 ERA and added four complete games and three saves. His presence could be bolstered by another former DI transfer Trae Davis. Davis appeared in 31 games over the past three seasons for Baylor, but the number of his appearances were gradually diminishing. A fresh start with the Rams could propel Davis to be one of the more formidable arms in the conference. Jake Albert, who compiled 57 innings in 18 games with a 3.63 ERA and Grayson Brown who showed promising signs as a freshman going 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 appearances are another pair of arms which could have big years for ASU.