Fall Report: Stetson

Fall Report

DeLAND, Fla. — Steve Trimper knew it wouldn’t be easy to follow up the best season in Stetson baseball history. After going 48-13, hosting a regional and making its first super regional in 2018, Stetson lost the core of a pitching staff that led the nation in ERA, and Trimper predicted last fall that his team would experience some growing pains in 2019, but he hoped it would be dangerous by the end of the season. And indeed, the Hatters slumped to 18-26 after a seven-game losing streak at the end of April, but they rallied late in the year, winning their first three games at the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament before falling to Liberty in the finals.

Think of 2019 as a “bridge year” if you like, but one thing is for certain: Stetson’s large group of returnees will benefit from the experience they gained last spring, and the Hatters should be a strong contender for the A-Sun title again in 2020.

For one thing, Stetson won’t be as vulnerable this year if a couple of key guys get injured or underperform. Trimper and pitching coach Dave Therneau pointed out that even in 2018, the Hatters essentially relied on just eight key arms — four starters and four relievers — but they were lucky that all of them stayed healthy. This year’s staff has a chance to go 10 or 11 deep, and the lineup also has more options than it has in recent years.

“This is the first team in my coaching career that we’ve got Division I depth,” Trimper said. “We have some depth at all these positions, and I’m really interested to see how it all takes off here.” …

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