The Bulls made the NCAA tournament last year with a team loaded with veteran players that had been with the program for a long time. Senior bats like Buddy Putnam, Kyle Teaf and others led the way under first year coach Mark Kingston. This year, the Bulls stand at 17-19 with plenty of games to play and having been battling with a young lineup that has been led by the impressive freshmen class thus far.
The offense has had a huge youth movement for the Bulls this year. Along with the veterans that graduated last year, the returning veterans have battled injuries. Kevin Merrell and Luke Borders have missed time and Levi Borders is out for the year after just a handful of games. Yet, despite that, the young lineup has stepped up to pick up the burden of the offense. The numbers they are producing is impressive.
These are the freshmen that have been contributing on the year (did not include Duke Stunkel considering he is not a freshmen despite it being his first year): David Villar, Coco Montes, Garrett Zech, Joe Genord, Chris Chatfield, Tyler Dietrich, Jonah Garrison, Cameron Montgomery, Michael Koening, and Donovan Pink.
So to see how these freshmen have impacted the order, we first start with the numbers the offense has produced at this time of the year. The Bulls have 300 hits, 54 doubles, 6 triples, 24 home runs, 142 RBIs, have scored 160 runs, drawn 126 walks, and are 49-56 in steal attempts. Those are some solid numbers across the boards and the freshmen have been HUGE contributors to all of that.
Here is a break down. The freshmen class have accounted for 182 of the 300 hits which is 60%. They have accounted for 33 of the 54 doubles, which is 61% and have 3 of the 6 triples which is 50%. They have 16 of the 24 home runs (66%) and 81 of the 142 RBIs (57%). The have also accounted for 96 of the 160 runs (60%), 69 of the 126 walks (55%) and 15 of the 49 total steals (30%).
The freshmen class was one of the best in the nation when they signed to play for Kingston and USF and we are seeing it come together on the field. Granted, some of the young men have been forced into starting roles due to various circumstances, but we are seeing the rebuilding of the program. The future is so bright and we are watching it begin this year as this young group continues to lead the way at the plate.