Sunday, February 7, 2016

Palmetto State Baseball team of the week, Feb. 1-7: Southern Wesleyan

Southern Wesleyan (3-0 for the week)
(went 3-0 against Toccoa Falls)

Only one week into its season, Southern Wesleyan is already way ahead of last season in at least one category. The Warriors didn't get a shutout victory in their 16-32 season in 2015. They picked up a pair of shutouts -- one a 14-inning marathon -- in sweeping Toccoa Falls in over the weekend.

Junior right-hander J.J. Julian, starting Friday's opener, set a high standard for his mound mates to follow. He allowed no hits and struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings of Southern Wesleyan's 2-0 victory. The only negative perhaps was his five walks.

Julian's teammates were up to the challenge. The Warriors allowed 15 hits and two earned runs in 30 innings while compiling a staff ERA of 0.60. That should give Southern Wesleyan a good start toward improving on the 6.77 staff ERA of the 2015 season.

Matt Costa set the standard on offense, going 6-for-9 in the Saturday victories. His sixth hit drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 14th of Game 2.

One thing I like in particular about coach Mike Gillespie's program. The Warriors do more than play baseball as part of their educational experience. Team members went to Puerto Rico last month on a combination ministry/baseball teaching/community service project.

I know other schools have teams involved in similar projects. I just want to give the Warriors a shout-out.

Also considered 
Benedict (2-1) -- went 0-1 vs. Francis Marion, went 2-0 vs. St. Augustine's
Coker (4-1) -- went 1-0 vs. St. Andrews, went 3-1 vs. Chowan
Francis Marion (3-0) -- went 1-0 vs. King, went 2-0 vs. Claflin
Lander (3-1) -- went 1-0 vs. Wingate, went 2-1 vs. North Greenville
Limestone (3-1) -- went 1-0 vs. Carson-Newman, went 2-1 vs. St.. Anselm
USC Aiken (2-1) -- went 2-1 vs. Lincoln Memorial
USC Beaufort (3-0) -- went 3-0 vs. Truett-McConnell
USC Lancaster (4-0) -- went 4-0 vs. Catawba Valley

Past winners
Jan. 29-31: Newberry

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