Tigers picked sixth in preseason poll

Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) has been picked sixth in the 2024 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Baseball Preseason Poll. The Tigers garnered 71 points in the poll for sixth among the 12 conference schools. H-SC completed the 2023 campaign with a final record of 20-19 overall, including 13-9 in the ODAC for fifth place.

“I am not surprised at the preseason poll,” said Tigers Head Coach Jeff Kinne, now entering his 21st year. “However, we have a good group of players and look to surprise a lot of teams. With Matthew Arnold and Johnny Oates II returning to full strength this year, we feel the lineup will be complete from top to bottom. Returning Jaxon Masterson and Grayson Harris from good sophomore seasons gives everyone confidence in the top of the lineup. The pitching staff is young but have been throwing well in the preseason.”

Shenandoah University was picked first with 119 points, including nine first-place votes, ahead of defending NCAA Division III National Champion and ODAC Tournament Champion University of Lynchburg (110) with the other three first-place votes … and followed by Randolph-Macon College (103), Roanoke College (82), Washington and Lee University (81), H-SC (71), Bridgewater College (68), Guilford College (51), Ferrum College (34), Virginia Wesleyan University (31), Eastern Mennonite University (25) and Averett University (17).

H-SC returns 29 lettermen, including six position starters, as well as six pitchers with at least 12 innings pitched a year ago-four of them with starting experience on the mound. Among the returning position starters are junior shortstop Jaxon Masterson (.333, 2 HRs, 4 2Bs, 28 RBIs), junior first baseman Grayson Harris (.310, 1 HR, 5 2Bs, 12 RBIs) and junior left fielder Christian Lancaster (.290, 7 2Bs, 17 RBIs). Among the returning pitchers are junior right-hander Gavin Gregory (4-2, 38.1 IP, 33K) and sophomore right-hander Sterling Austin (2-3, 31.1 IP, 23K). An additional 22 team members are on the roster this spring, including 14 first-year freshmen.

Coach Kinne is once-again assisted by Robbie Bailey ‘10 (12th-year), baseball’s recruiting coordinator, along with program veteran Billy Catron (16th-year) and Jonathan Triesler ‘20 (fourth-year).

The Tigers will open the campaign on the road at non-conference opponent Marymount University on February 17-18 for a three-game series at Capital One Park in Tysons. The two teams will play a single game on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m., before a scheduled doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 12 p.m.