SOUTHWESTERN BASEBALL 2017

The Pirates head into the 2017 season with hopes on building on the momentum of last year’s run to the SCAC championship game. Fifth-year head coach R.J. Thomas’ club returns five positional starters and all of its starting rotation. Included in that group is…

…senior utilityman Ben Little, who hit .281 with seven doubles, four triples, a homer and 29 RBIs last spring. The Bellaire native hit his only round-tripper, a three-run shot, in last year’s conference title matchup with Trinity.

Austyn Laird returns for his final campaign after a breakout season that earned him second-team All-SCAC laurels. Laird batted .252 with six doubles, a triple, a homer and 24 RBIs as a junior. He also ranked second on the team with 29 runs scored.

The Pirates also are counting on Ethan Hallmark to continue his tear on the bases. The junior outfielder helped Southwestern steal a league-best 97 bases a year ago. Hallmark swiped 12 of 15 attempts, while also hitting .271 with eight doubles and 15 RBIs.

Headlining the Bucs’ pitching staff is 6-foot-7 righty Will Preston. The Sugar Land native was an honorable-mention All-SCAC pick a year ago after posting a 4-2 record with a 3.92 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 57.1 innings of work.

Additionally, Tyler Polasek returns for his sophomore season after making an immediate impact a year ago. The southpaw was 2-2 with a rotation-best 2.66 ERA in 50.2 innings. Polasek also was a second-team All-SCAC honoree.

Southwestern opens the season on February 10th at the Firehouse Classic in Montgomery, Alabama.

Meet the Pirates: Returners

#2 ETHAN WIDOFF

SO | INF | 5-10 | 170 | R/R

Greenwood Village, Colo. | Cherry Creek HS

#3 ROBERT WEHMAN

JR | INF | 6-3 | 185 | R/R

Katy, Texas | Seven Lakes HS

#5 COLBY SCHMIDT

SO | C | 5-10 | 175 | R/R

Liberty Hill, Texas | Liberty Hill HS

#6 JEREMY RICE

SR | P | 6-1 | 185 | R/R

Houston, Texas | King HS

#8 CHUCK HUGHES

SO | P | 5-8 | 150 | R/R

Round Rock, Texas | Round Rock HS

#9 CLAYTON HAAG

JR | P | 6-1 | 180 | R/R

Austin, Texas | McNeil HS

#10 HUNTER HAZEN

SR | C | 6-2 | 185 | R/R

Fort Worth, Texas | Lake County Christian School

#11 TYLER POLASEK

SO | P | 6-1 | 195 | R/L

Pearland, Texas | Strake Jesuit Prep

#12 BEN LITTLE

SR | UT | 6-1 | 190 | R/R

Bellaire, Texas | St. Pius X HS

#13 JORDAN KESSLER

SO | P | 5-8 | 155 | L/L | Austin, Texas | Round Rock HS

#14 JACOB KENDRA

SR | P | 6-3 | 215 | R/R

Carlsbad, Calif. | Carlsbad HS

#15 COLE KELLY

SO | INF | 6-1 | 185 | R/R

Sugar Land, Texas | Austin HS

#16 JONAH ROHNE

SO | P | 6-3 | 175 | L/R

Lago Vista, Texas | Lago Vista HS

#17 JASON MCCORMACK

JR | OF | 5-7 | 170 | L/L

Houston, Texas | Houston Christian HS

#19 CAMERON COOPER

SR | OF | 5-10 | 180 | L/R

Belton, Texas | Belton HS

#20 ETHAN HALLMARK

JR | INF | 5-10 | 170 | R/R

Midlothian, Texas | Midlothian HS

#23 MICHAEL ILARDI

SR | UT | 6-1 | 180 | R/R

Houston, Texas | Atascocita HS

#24 AUSTIN SMITH

JR | P | 6-2 | 190 | L/L

Flower Mound, Texas | Liberty Christian School

#25 HAYDEN HOLLEY

SR | P | 5-11 | 190 | R/L

Southlake, Texas | Liberty Christian School

#28 RILEY WAYLAND

JR | INF | 5-11 | 200 | R/R

Plano, Texas | West HS

#29 KEVIN WALLACE

SR | C | 5-10 | 180 | R/R

Reno, Nev. | Reno HS

#33 THOMAS O'BRIEN

SR | UT | 5-11 | 190 | R/R

Austin, Texas | Vandegrift HS

#35 JORDAN SCOTT

SO | P | 6-2 | 190 | R/R

Round Rock, Texas | Cedar Ridge HS

#36 JOSHUA BRAY

SO | P | 5-11 | 190 | R/R

Las Vegas, Nev. | Green Valley HS

#37 COLLIN BUCKLEY

SR | P | 5-9 | 175 | R/R

Georgetown, Texas | Georgetown HS

#38 WILL PRESTON

JR | P | 6-7 | 230 | R/R

Sugar Land, Texas | Clements HS

#41 AUSTYN LAIRD

SR | OF | 6-3 | 210 | R/R

Flower Mound, Texas | Marcus HS

#44 ZACH BROWN

SR | P | 6-3 | 200 | R/R

Austin, Texas | Vandegrift HS

#45 NOAH CLARK

SR | P | 6-1 | 205 | L/L

Baytown, Texas | Goose Creek Memorial HS

#53 SAMUEL COX

SO | C/1B | 6-0 | 190 | S/R

Corpus Christi, Texas | Ray HS

Meet the Pirates: Newcomers

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