SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 13, 2017) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) baseball is getting set for its first season under new Head Coach Bryan Aughney. During most mornings, the men can be seen running throughout Lake Elmendorf adjacent to campus, and in the noon hour, they are hard at work in the weight room. By 3 p.m., the Saints head over to the baseball field at either Missions Baseball Academy or Wolff Stadium for infield and outfield drills, pitching practice and taking turns hitting line drives, grounders and long balls until 6 p.m.
"We started our fall workouts on Sept. 25 and we'll run through the middle of November," Aughney said. "At this point I have been very pleased with the work ethic and energy of our players. There is a hunger in them to get us over the hump and a desire to be postseason contenders. Right now we are focusing on the little things that become difference makers in our competitive conference."
The Saints, who will begin their official schedule in the spring, have added 20 new players to the roster, including 14 freshmen. Returning are eight sophomores, four juniors and six seniors.
"I have been pleased with our new players and their willingness to buy into what we are doing. We have some freshmen who going to be impact guys for us now and for sure in our future - it is a very talented group."
Aughney said the freshmen standouts thus far include:
Ryan Chapa (FR/Corpus Christi, Texas) – Infielder from Corpus Christi, Texas, First-Team All-District Shortstop, MVP, Academic All-District – "He is a high-motor guy with great energy."
Jorge Collazo Jr. (FR/San Antonio, Texas) – Second Baseman from San Antonio – First-Team All-District, Academic All-District – "He has shown he can handle the bat and be versatile on defense."
Alec Martinez (FR/Corpus Christi, Texas) – Infielder from Corpus Christi, Texas, Second-Team All-District, National Honor Society
Jacob Mitchell (FR/Harker Heights, Texas) – Infielder from Harker Heights, Texas, All-State, First-Team All-Area, Academic All-District – "Both are ball players, and as they continue to develop, I expect them to be pillars of our future."
Freshmen pitchers: Logan Garza (FR/Round Rock, Texas) - Round Rock, Texas, First-Team All-District, Academic All-District; Ty Cook (FR/Highlands, Texas) – Highlands, Texas, First-Team All-District, First-Team All-Area, Scholar Athlete; Triston Scherer (FR/Crosby, Texas) – Crosby, Texas, All-District; Adrian Gonzalez Jr. (FR/Weslaco, Texas) – Weslaco, Texas, Academic All-State – "All have really bought into what Coach Jeremy Flores wants them doing and have been working hard to improve their ability to get hitters out."
Other freshmen include: catcher Roland Cantu (FR/Converse, Texas), outfielder/catcher Andres Flores (FR/Brownsville, Texas), infielder Rosalio Galvan (FR/Baytown, Texas), infielder EricTyler Guerrero (FR/Floresville, Texas), infielder Andrew Ogletree (FR/Mission, Texas) and utility Eric Trevino.
New and Returning Pitchers
"As for the returning pitchers, it's great to have our anchors of the staff back in JB Martinez (JR/San Antonio, Texas) and Jordan Hackett (SR/San Antonio, Texas)," Aughney commented. "They have taken our freshmen under their wings, and we hope they continue the next group of great Saints' pitchers.
Other pitchers returning to the squad include: sophomores Tony Esparza (SO/Spring, Texas), Colton Vien (SO/Montgomery, Texas), Joey Baker (SO/Cuero, Texas), Garrett Moltzan (SO/Justin, Texas); junior Jesus Ramirez (JR/Quitman, Texas); and senior Caleb Mireles (SR/Del Rio, Texas).
"We also have returners at each defensive position, which is great when we get in our practice settings so our young guys and transfers can learn the expectations and ins and outs defensively."
Other returners include: infielder Xavier Solis (SO/Victoria, Texas), first baseman Jose Diaz (SO/Pinar del Rio, Cuba), outfielder Moses Gonzalez (SO/San Antonio, Texas), outfielder Matt Mihalov (SO/Conroe, Texas), shortstop Ryan Ramsey (JR/Grapevine, Texas), catcher Matthew Rodriguez (JR/Horizon City, Texas), outfielder Russell Brown (SR/San Antonio, Texas), outfielder Enrique Ruiz, infielder/catcher Isaiah Guzman (SR/Richardson, Texas) and first baseman/catcher Mike Light (SR/San Antonio, Texas).
"Our transfers have blended in as well. We added some depth behind the plate with Daniel Anciso (JR/Harlingen, Texas) and Robert Lopez (SO/San Antonio, Texas), and both guys have the ability to become big RBI guys for us as well.
"We've also added Nick Ludwig (JR/Tomball, Texas) at first base and Cameron Guzman (SO/San Antonio, Texas) in the mid-infield. Both have also shown the ability to play the game at a high level. We also gained some maturity and experience with the addition of Mick Hernandez (JR/San Antonio, Texas) in the outfield."
Ramon Rios (SO/Corpus Christi, Texas) is also a transfer.
The Saints will travel to Beeville, Texas, on Oct. 13 for a scrimmage against Coastal Bend College. "We are excited to be able to play an opponent, and this will be a great opportunity for us to get a measure on where we are at as well as some evaluations on our players in different situations."
The Saints will then host Coastal Bend next Friday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. and Wolff Stadium here in San Antonio. Saints fans are welcome to attend, but no concessions will be open, and everyone is asked to pick up any trash left behind.
The Saints will begin their official schedule on Jan. 26 against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Their games will be held throughout the end of April. All home games will feature live stats and will be livestreamed through the university's OLLUSaints YouTube channel. Admission charge will be in effect for the Saints home field at Missions Baseball Academy. More information will be released on this in the spring.