College Corner: Wofford Baseball 3-25
We are a little over a month into the 2022 college baseball season for the Wofford Terriers. The defending regular Season Southern Conference Champions entered this season as the favorite to win the SoCon in 2022, receiving 8 of 10 first place votes from coaches and 8 out of 17 first place votes in the media polls, and that is for good reason. This team has a wealth of talent.
Wofford had 3 players earn first team preseason all SoCon team honors including senior late reliever/closer Dalton Rhadans, who has already appeared in 13 games this season with a 2.45 ERA and 2 saves and holds a 3-1 record). Also in that list is senior Catcher Lawson Hill , who has started all 22 games behind the dish for the Terriers so far and is batting .247 with 19 hits, 13 walks, and 13 RBIs, as well as senior outfielder Nolen Hester who has started in all but 1 game and is slugging .343.
This Wofford team features a lot of depth in the bullpen and a solid rotation that includes freshman Lucas Mahlstedt, Junior Matthew Marchal, and 5th year senior Josh Vitus (as well as an occasional start from Rhadans) to go along with the power and aggression at the plate and on the base paths.
But for all the depth and raw talent on the mound that this team has, it has been a bit of a struggle through the early going, with the offense carrying a lot of the weight. The team ERA is 4.64 with opponents hitting .278 against them with 61 walks, 67 extra base hits, and 100 earned runs given up in 22 games.
Offensively, Wofford holds a .291 team batting average through the first 22 games of the season with an on base percentage of .417 and 76 swipes in 89 attempts. They draw a lot of walks (117 so far) and they are aggressive on the base paths. They use the hit and run, motion, steals, etc to put pressure on defenses and make them make a play, and that has been the big key to success so far.
At the plate, the Terriers have been led by 1st baseman John Dempsey, who has a .408 average with a .500 on base percentage with 31 hits (11 for extra bases with 7 doubles and 4 dingers) and 14 RBIs. Dorman product Jack Renwick is the team leader in RBIs so far, having driven in 25 as well as stolen bases with 17 (on 18 attempts, I might add..) Ryan Galanie and John Dempsey are tied for total bases with 50 (Renwick has 38).
Over the last week, the Terriers took 2 out of 3 in Nashville from Belmont, winning game 1 14-5, dropping game 2 6-5, and taking the rubber match 8-2. Tuesday night, Wofford beat USC Upstate 10-6 behind great performances from Jack Renwick and Ryan Galanie. Renwick put Wofford ahead for good in the 7th with a 2 run single to make it 5-3. He went 1-3 with 3 RBIs. Galanie also tallied 3 RBIs, going 3 for 4 at the dish.
The Terriers, now 14-8 on the season, will take on the Gardner-Webb Runnin Bulldogs this weekend in an interestingly-scheduled series. Games 1 and 3 will be at Russell C King Field with game 2 on the road in Boiling Springs, NC. Game 1 will start at 6:00 Friday night, game 2 is set for 4:00 Saturday afternoon, and the finale is Sunday at 2 PM. They’ll follow that with a midweek tilt against Winthrop Wednesday night at 6:00 at RCK Field.