2017: 10-13 (5-10)
Key Returners: Sr Alex Olague, SR Trevor Curl, SR Adam Morrison. Junior's Chase Archibald, Seth Ryberg, Kai Alberghini, Jacob Thoresen.
Key Losses: P/OF Torrey Anderson, P/INF Riley Wingerson,
Key games: 3/28 vs Bellevue, 3/30 vs Redmond, 4/4 vs Interlake, 4/6 vs Juanita
2017 Graduation was not a big blow in terms of numbers, but replacing Torrey Anderson and Riley Wingerson and will be a tough one. Anderson always wanted the ball and was a true competitor. SS Wingerson contributions over the last three season was a ton. So the #1 spot in the rotation probably falls into the lap of Chase Archibald. All Archibald did was log 32 innings with a 1.95 w/27ks. pretty darn good.
Outside of Archibald and Morrison we will have to see how the rest of pitching staff unfolds. A host of potential players will make there trot out to the mound in 2018. Hopefully, Head Coach Martin can find some consistent combinations early to build momentum going into conference play.
The benefit of playing in a top heavy conference for Liberty is two fold: Good competition against 3A schools that prepare the Patriots for 2A tournament time. Secondly, the conference has a nice balance which allows Liberty an opportunity to earn Ws, play tight games, and grow together.
The offense for the Patriots is a much different story than the pitching staff. Alex Olague headlines the offensive production, checking in with a.356 clip, 11RBI, 2-2B, 2-3B,HR and seven stolen bases. Setting the table for Olague will be key, junior Kai Alberghini will be a big part of that equation, Alberghini got 56 plate appearances in his sophomore season. Look for a break out season for the junior, as he will be hitting in 2 or 3 spot in the order.
Other players looking to aid the offense will be a senior SS Trevor Curl, Juniors Jacob Thoresen, Seth Ryberg, Chase Archibald and Colton Wigen. Curl logged 53 PA in 2017, and an improvement from his .204 avg will go along way in potential of the Patriots attack. Thoresen was productive last season with a .280 avg, 5 doubles, triple and four stolen bases. Another table setter for the middle of the order. Both Wigen and Ryberg could be pleasant surprises to supplement the Patriots attack 1-6 hitters.
Overall the possibilities of a .500 season rest on two items: Pitching and the ability to score runs consistently. It sounds simple but both have held back the Patriots from an upper conference finish. The good news: Patriots have more pieces to the puzzle to make things interesting.
Last year Liberty registered five conference wins, for 2018 the prediction meter wants to predict 7 or 8. However, until the pitching staff as a whole materializes the realistic goal of 6 looks more likely. Outscoring conference opponents might be the key ingredient to capturing more than six wins and firing the victory cannon a lot more.