Weather permitting, the Roanoke College baseball team will make its’ 2018 debut on Friday at 2 pm at Kiwanis Field. The Maroons will host Rutgers-Newark in a doubleheader, beginning at noon.
The Maroons were scheduled to open at Maryville in Tennessee last weekened, but all four games of the series were cancelled due to inclement weather. So now the Maroons will open at home Friday, then host Mount Saint Vincent for another doubleheader on Saturday at Kiwanis Field, beginning at noon.
Baseball America has ranked the Maroons number seven in the nation in its 2018 Division III Preview. It marks the fourth preseason national ranking for the Maroons and the number seven ranking is the highest of those four and the highest preseason ranking in program history. The Maroons were tabbed 10th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, 14th in the Perfect Game Poll and 17th in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Preseason Top 25.
The Maroons return their core nucleus from a 2017 team that helped RC capture its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and NCAA South Regional Championships. Back in the mix for head coach Matt McGuire is ABCA Second-Team All-Region outfielder senior Sean Guida. Last season Guida hit .339. His 79 hits were the most in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, while his 58 runs scored was also most in the league and his 10 triples were second in the league and third most in Division III.
Joining Guida in the outfield will be junior Scott Ellis who led the team in hitting last season with a .344 average. Ellis was also named to the ODAC, NCAA South Regional, and NCAA World Series All-Tournament Teams. Ellis was the only player in the country to be named to their conference, regional and the CWS teams last season.
After this weekend’s home games the Maroons will be at Averett University for a 2 pm start on Tuesday.