'Jacks 2008 Preview: Relief Pitching
Feb. 7, 2008
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - With an experienced set of starters ready to hit the ground running in 2008, head coach Donnie Watson will also have plenty of options to call on when he dips into the Lumberjack bullpen.
Junior Richard Folmer is back for what is hopefully a repeat performance of the close of his sophomore campaign. Folmer, a closer extraordinaire according to Watson, used his fastball/slider combination to the tune of a 0.45 ERA in his final 13 appearances of 2007, only allowing one earned run in 20 innings of work during that stretch.
He showed his stability in the final series of the year, pitching three straight days in SFA's final three-game series of the regular season against Sam Houston and picking up the save in the final game to send SFA to the Southland Conference Tournament.
Along with Folmer, Erik Gregersen and Heath Konesheck will be part of a pack of 'Jacks that includes Vince Wade, Bruce Mayberry, Travis Harrelson and Jonathan Gutierrez that will be vying for innings throughout the season
After two years of seeing time at both pitcher and in the field, Watson says that Wade is finally ready to pitch and at times can be absolutely dominating. An atypical delivery along with the ability to throw three pitches for strikes is sure to make Wade someone that sees a significant jump in appearances from his first two seasons.
Watson is confident in Gutierrez and feels as though he will have plenty of chances to eat up some of the middle innings and that his breaking pitches could even provide the opportunity to see duty as a closer, while Mayberry will be instrumental in the overall depth of the staff as he enters his senior season.
Harrelson, a 6-foot redshirt freshman with a slider that Watson is very high on, will provide another closing option.
"Travis is a 90-mile-an-hour kid with a big-time slider that is really going to have the chance to help us out this season," Watson said.
A youngster who Watson thinks is the next exceptional up-and-coming pitcher on the SFA roster is Jared West. Jeremy Tamez also could see opportunity on the mound come his way, as could Alex Moshier and Angel Hernandez.
Moshier, a freshman from Nederland, Texas, will see playing time not only as a pitcher but also as a catcher, while Hernandez provides another left-handed arm for the bullpen in addition to being able to play the outfield.
The 'Jacks open up the season Feb. 22 in Edinburg, Texas, at the UT-Pan American Tournament against Texas State. They will follow that up with games against UTPA and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi before taking part in the Baylor Tournament the following week.
Check back with sfajacks.com for more updates on Lumberjack baseball.
Feb. 4 - Starting Pitching
Feb. 7 - Relief Pitching
Feb. 11 - Catchers
Feb. 13 - Infielders
Feb. 18 - Outfielders