Blue Jays Eager to Return to the Diamond, Led by Preseason All-American
BY TOMMY BOHNERT
The Westminster baseball squad is only a few weeks away from starting practice and kicking off the 2015 season. Coming off a 21-14 overall record last year, the Blue Jays will look to returning leadership and new faces in hopes of a berth to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Assistant Coach Dane Hughes is positive about the direction his team is headed. “I’m really optimistic about the amount of guys coming back, not just because of how they performed last season, but how they were able to improve by putting in time to get better in the off-season,” he said. “We also have a strong freshman class and a promising group of transfers”.
Of the returning starters, the Jays will be led by junior and Jefferson City native Deion Hughes, who was named to the 2015 D3baseball.com Preseason All-America Team. Last season, Hughes proved to be a dual threat, showing his versatility as a utility player. From the plate, Hughes hit .361, batting in 26 runs with a .434 on-base percentage. In nine starts on the mound, he posted an 8-1 record, with a 1.94 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 55.2 innings pitched.
Those numbers earned him a spot on the ABCA All-American Second Team, First Team All-Central Region honors, and SLIAC First Team All-Conference last season.
Hughes said on receiving these honors, “It is a team honor in my eyes because my teammates put me in the position to succeed either from runners in scoring position, or catchers calling the game.”
The Blue Jays will open their season here at home against Grinnell College for a double-header on Saturday, Feb. 28. Games times are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Saucier Field.