ing,” Dunn said. “People can’t sit on his fastball although his velocity has increased significantly over the past two years.” While all three members of the weekend rotation return, there is a wildcard that may work into the mix. Sophomore left-hander Austin Perez has a chance to make a move into the starting mix on the weekend, even though he did not throw at all in the fall following minor surgery. The fact that he would give opposing hitters a different look from the other starters could be a big benefit against some teams. “We originally thought we’d keep him out of the rotation for a couple of weeks and not push him, but his rehab has gone very well and he could well be ready for opening weekend,” Dunn said. “He’s got above average velocity on his fastball, a good breaking ball and is a bulldog on the mound. “We would love to have a left-handed starter in there, although we aren’t opposed to running three right-handers out there. It would be nice to have that lefty.” In addition to the veterans returning to the rotation, Stetson fans should not be surprised when freshman right-hander Josh Powers gets some starting nods early in the year, especially if Perez isn’t ready to assume a starting role and when the Hatters play five games in a week. Powers performed well during the fall and impressed the coaches with his maturity. Once the starters get in their six or seven innings of work in a game, the Hatters will turn to a deep and experienced bullpen staff. Like the rotation, the bullpen leans heavily to the right, but has a pair of hurlers who can be tough on left-handed hitters as well as right-handers. The relief staff starts with two seniors who are of like mind and spirit on the field. Seniors Jake Boyd and Robbie Powell are so close that teammates have combined their names and refer to them as a collective unit. Stetson opponents will find facing one, or both, in a game as a daunting task, especially since both are on the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award. Amazingly, neither might wind up being the closer. That’s because Carhart could return to that role, if his velocity returns to the level it was, pre-injury. Even without Carhart, Boyd and Powell combined to win 14 games, save 14 more and pitch with a combined ERA of 3.16. “Powell closed last year after Carhart went down, so that was his primary role,” Dunn said. “We had the ability to close with Boyd or (Tucker) Donahue from time-to-time. I don’t think we have a designated closer at this point. We have guys who can fill that role and have done so in the past. Donahue, another senior right-hander who was drafted by Texas last summer, and Boyd are so good at getting left-handed hitters out that the lack of lefties in the bull pen is less of a concern for the Hatters. Powell’s best weapon is his slider, which is deadly against right-handed hitters. Another member of the pen who will see a lot of action on the mound is junior Joe Dye, who pitches with a submarine motion that is most effective against righthanded hitters. The Stetson coaches expect to see a lot of Dye during the year, but for very short appearances.
A T L A N T I C S U N ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘00 “We expect to see Dye pitch in 56 games,” Roberts said. “We get him in with a matchup to get an out. He started as a knuckleball pitcher, and he has a good one, but, now that he is throwing from down under, he has a fastball, breaking ball and change. He got us out of some big spots last year.” Besides Perez, there are two left-handed options in the bullpen. One is sophomore Cameron Griffin, who throws at more than 90 miles per hour. He can be just as tough on right-handed hitters as he is on lefties. “Griffin is the x-factor,” Roberts said. “If he can put it together, we could go further in the post-season than we did last year. He had an ankle problem last spring, and that set him back a little and put a little extra pressure on his arm. He throws hard and his breaking ball has gotten better. You don’t see many lefties in college who throw 90 plus.” After that core group of pitchers comes the group of youngsters who will be the future for the Hatters on the mound. The challenge will be in getting those pitchers significant time against “real” opponents. “We have a lot of guys in the pen, and they have to get regular work,” Roberts said. “We have to make sure they are all getting their innings. Hopefully, those starters will be going six or seven every game and that will put pressure on us to find innings for the young guys.” The young hurlers for the Hatters include freshmen Ike Greenspon, Tyler Warmoth and Drew Jackson, sophomore Justin Pickens and junior college transfer Chad Rood. Freshman Ben Rakus will redshirt this year after suffering a torn ACL.
2012 Media Guide & Record Book
‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘11
C H A M P I O N S
2012 Baseball Media Guide & Record Book