MERIANS AND SANTA FE OPEN SEASON TODAY AT 2:30 AGAINST HCC

January 29, 2010

Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616 scott.jamison@sfcollege.edu

SF BASEBALL

SANTA FE OPENS SEASON TODAY AT 2:30 AGAINST HCC

Gainesville, FL – Coach Johnny Wiggs and the Santa Fe Saints open the defense of their 2009 FCCAA State Championship today when Hillsborough CC makes the trip to Gainesville for a 2:30 game.  Gary Merians (pictured), the Saints top returning pitcher, will take the mound.

The Saints finished last season with a 36-22 record, a Mid-Florida Conference title, a State Championship and a runner-up finish at the JUCO World Series.

SF begins 2010 as the #2 ranked team in the state of Florida and #14 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball.

Coach Wiggs and the Saints return six players from last year’s team.  Starting pitcher Gary Merians, who won eight straight games starting during MFC play all the way through the JUCO World Series, is back to anchor Santa Fe’s pitching staff.  Outfielder Jardian Thomas (.377 BA, 14 2B, 25 RBI) returns for his sophomore season to take over centerfield for Arizona Diamondbacks draftee Keon Broxton.

The Saints also have catcher and Mid-Florida Conference “Defensive Player of the Year” Brett Bozeman back behind the plate for 2010.  Bozeman hit .317 last season with 14 doubles and 38 RBI.

Outfielder Nolan Malone (.348 BA, 3 2B, 8 RBI), pitcher Morgan McKinney (2-1, 6.04 ERA, 27 K in 21 inn.) and pitcher Daryl Barnes (4-2, 6.12 ERA) round out the returning players for SF.

Coach Wiggs and his assistant coaches Bruce Larkins and Brett Merritt brought in a stellar recruiting class again this year, headlined by transfer Ken Wise, a 6’6, 230 pound starting pitcher; Ricky Claudio, a 34th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins who can play the outfield and pitch; Austin Lawrence, a second baseman from Columbia High School; Zach Rios, and outfield transfer from NW Florida State College; Tommy Goodman, a shortstop transfer from Florida Southern and shortstop TJ Spina, a local product from Santa Fe High School.

For complete schedules and more information on Saints Baseball, please visit www.sfcollege.edu/athletics.  To see game photos and other updates, follow Santa Fe College Athletics on Facebook.

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