Zeth Rodriguez (7) hit a three-run home run to put the Saints back in the game, his fifth of the year. Credit/Santa Fe College Athletics.

Santa Fe College Baseball Starts Friday

The Santa Fe College Saints begin its baseball season Friday at home against Lake-Sumter State College at 2 p.m. This will be followed up with a doubleheader Saturday against Florida Southwestern State College at 1 p.m. and St. Petersburg College at 4 p.m. in Auburndale.

How Last Season Ended

The Saints finished their season 40-10, but they went 9-9 in their last 18 games. They lost 10-0 in the third game of the Bradenton Regional to end their season. The ending to last season did not sit well with head coach Johnny Wiggs. Even though they lost a lot of players from last season, Wiggs said Thursday he’s liked the way his team has practiced leading up to the season.

 

On the Mound

Even though Santa Fe lost five of its six top pitchers, Wiggs is still high on his staff going into the season. The additions include Wyatt Campbell, Matthew Jenkins and Justin Jackson. Jackson transferred to Santa Fe in the offseason from the University of South Florida. Wiggs hopes they set the tone for the team in the beginning of the season.

Challenging Schedule

Santa Fe’s schedule will be a geographic challenge this year. It’ll be playing schools based in Miami, which is challenging for a junior college. The Saints will play each conference team a maximum of three times, instead of a maximum of eight times. This will allow the Saints to play other schools and to not be dictated to as much of a conference-heavy schedule.

A Special Day For Santa Fe Baseball

Feb. 17 will be a special day for Santa Fe baseball. It’s alumni day for the school, and during a doubleheader against Polk State College, the program will honor their first head coach Harry Tholen. Santa Fe will name the baseball field after him to honor the contributions he made to the program.

An Overview of the Schedule

Santa Fe’s longest stretch of home games will be from Wednesday-to-Feb. 7, where they will play six straight home games. It’ll play conference teams twice at home and will play twice on the road. The Saints will look to improve on its .652 conference winning percentage, and they had a 15-8 conference record last season. They start conference games on Feb. 15, and they’ll look to start the season 3-0 before heading into the bulk of their schedule.

About Jackson Colding

Jackson Colding is a second-year journalism sports and media student at the University of Florida.

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