SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 6, 2019) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) baseball has released its 2020 schedule that includes 25 nonconference games and nine Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) series matchups. Overall, the team is scheduled to play 52 games in its sixth season that begins Jan. 24.
Head Coach Bryan Aughney commented, "Looking at our 2020 schedule, we have again built one of the tougher schedules in the NAIA. In our first 20 games, we will play four teams that were in the national tournament a year ago, and I expect those same four to be ranked in the top 25 this year. Along with that, our other two opponents had really good seasons as well last year. It will be nice to open things up at home for the first three weeks of the season vs. USAO, CMU, and Tabor. Then we will head on the road for a good test in TWU and Bellevue up in Dallas. We come back home to wrap up the preseason with Midland again before we head on the road to open up conference play at USW.
Aughney is in his third year as head coach, and he returns Assistant Coach Jeremy Flores and Chaplain Cristopher Robinson, who are both in their sixth season with the program. Mike Light returns for his second year as a student assistant, and 2019 senior TJ Kassner joins the coaching staff as a student assistant. Nate Gunty also returns for his third season as a volunteer assistant.
In the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Preseason Poll released this week, the Saints have been picked to finish third with 26 points. Receiving the first-place rank is LSU-Shreveport (LSUS) (22-5/47-13) with 11 points, followed by LSU-Alexandria (LSUA) (18-9/32-25) with 22 points, Jarvis Christian College (JCC) (14-13/36-25) with 33 points, Texas A&M University – Texarkana (TAMUT) (14-13/27-30) with 45 points, the University of the Southwest (USW) (11-16/30-23) with 59 points, the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) (10-17/14-31) with 63 points, Texas College (14-13/25-32) with 65 points, Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) (5-22/11-43) with 85 points and Wiley College (8-19/19-27) with 86 points.
LSUS is the only RRAC team to be included in the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll that was released today. The Pilots are picked No. 12. LSUS captured the regular-season title, as well as the tournament trophy after defeating Jarvis Christian College in the two championship games, 4-3 and 19-11. The Pilots went on to nationals, where they lost two games, 7-10 to Bellevue University and 12-15 to Columbia, to end their season.
"I like to build a tough schedule as it doesn't allow us to take anything for granted, and if we want to compete for the RRAC title, we will need to play high-level baseball each weekend. We are definitely building in that direction; however, we have had a couple of games get away from us the last few seasons that have put us in a tough position down the stretch.
Parenthesis indicates record between both schools.
OLLU begins the 2020 season with 11 home games. First is a three-game series against No. 3 NAIA ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (OLLU 4-USAO 5) Jan. 24-25. On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the Saints will host Central Methodist University (3-3), which is ranked 21 in the NAIA. Next up are two doubleheaders against Tabor College (first matchup) Feb. 7-8.
The team will head out for their first road games on Feb. 14 against No. 17 Texas Wesleyan University (2-3) and Feb. 15 against No. 7 Bellevue University (first matchup) – both doubleheaders will take place in Dallas.
The Saints return home to host Midland University (4-4) for two doubleheaders on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22. The games on Feb. 21 will take place during the university's Homecoming Weekend when alumni will be welcomed for a wide variety of events.
The men will get back on the road to start conference in Hobbs, N.M., against the University of the Southwest (11-6) Feb. 28-29. They'll return home for a conference series against Texas College (17-2) March 6-7.
LSU-Alexandria (10-9) will host the Saints for a conference series March 13-14, and the Saints will come back to San Antonio to face NCAA D3 Trinity University (3-6) on March 17.
Wiley College (9-6) is next on the schedule for the Saints. The conference series in Marshall, Texas, will take place March 20-21.
The Saints host NCAA D2 St. Edward's University (first matchup) March 24, and conference foe Huston-Tillotson University March 27-28.
OLLU will face St. Edward's again, this time in Austin, Texas, on March 31.
The Saints welcome `conference opponent Texas A&M University – Texarkana (7-8) April 3-4 and then travel to Shreveport, La., for a conference series against LSU-Shreveport (4-16) April 10-11.
The team will play its last nonconference game on April 14 against Trinity. The Saints will play their two conference series against Jarvis Christian College (6-13) April 17-18 and the University of Houston-Victoria (12-12) April 24-25.
During the last series of the regular season, the Saints will honor seniors Joey Baker (SR/Cuero, Texas), Jose Diaz (SR/Pinar del Rio, Cuba), Mick Hernandez (SR/San Antonio, Texas), Robert Lopez (SR/San Antonio, Texas), Matt Mihalov (SR/Conroe, Texas) and Xavier Solis (SR/Victoria, Texas).
The RRAC tournament will be hosted by LSU-Shreveport May 1-5 in Shreveport, La., at Pilots Field. From May 12-15, the NAIA World Series Opening Round will be held at host schools and will be followed by the NAIA World Series from May 22-29 at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.
Aside from the seniors, the Saints return sophomores Boedy Flores (SO/Harlingen, Texas), Matthew Klar (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Layne Klostermann (SO/Raymondville, Texas), Daniel Melecio (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Jacob Montejano (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Bryce Putnam (SO/Baytown, Texas), Noah Rodriguez (SO/Victoria, Texas) and Brett Vasquez (SO/Baytown, Texas); and juniors Ryan Chapa (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas), Jorge Collazo Jr. (JR/San Antonio, Texas), Ty Cook (JR/Highlands, Texas), Alex Garza (JR/Cypress, Texas), Adrian Gonzalez Jr. (JR/Weslaco, Texas),Alec Martinez (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas), Jacob Mitchell (JR/Harker Heights, Texas ), Andrew Ogletree (JR/Mission, Texas), Jose Ramirez (JR/Weslaco, Texas) (SR/Weslaco, Texas) and Triston Scherer (JR/Crosby, Texas).
Aughney commented, "Looking at our 2020 roster, we can no longer say we are young as the bulk of our team is now juniors and seniors. We return 7-of-9 starters on the offensive side and the majority of our pitching staff, as well. Along with the starters, we have done a great job of building depth, and we have a stable of young guys who are vying for significant time. I am excited to watch this group come spring, but until then, we have much work to do."
Newcomers include freshmen Javier De Alejandro (FR/San Antonio, Texas), Miguel Galindo (FR/Jourdanton), Sergio Gonzalez (FR/Harlingen, Texas), Sebastian Ledezma (FR/Los Fresnos, Texas), Brandon Maldonado (FR/Corpus Christi, Texas), Francisco Martinez (FR/San Antonio, Texas), Tristan Montemayor (FR/San Benito, Texas), John B. Ortega II (FR/Harlingen, Texas), Preston Polk (FR/Corpus Christi, Texas), Justin Rodriguez (FR/Pearland, Texas), Kenneth Rodriguez (FR/Killeen, Texas), Alexander Sosa (FR/Lockhart, Texas), Tyler Vivier (FR/San Antonio, Texas), Alejandro Ybarra (FR/San Benito, Texas); sophomores Connor Dayton (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Connor Harlan (SO/Harlingen, Texas) and Jacob Ramirez (SO/San Antonio, Texas); and and juniors Robert Arredondo (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas), Jonathan Jimenez (JR/Victoria, Texas), Devin Molina (JR/San Antonio, Texas) and Christian Slocume (JR/San Antonio, Texas).
Games will be played at Missions Baseball Academy located off State Highway 151 and Old Highway 90. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children (7-17), Free for younger than seven.
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