BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. (WTVA/BMC Athletics) - Baseball season is around the corner and Blue Mountain College is looking at a 2019 season that is filled with 55 games.
The Toppers are coming off two previous seasons where they put together 61 wins, with a 29-23 record last season.
Included in the schedule is a four-game matchup with national runner-up and preseason no. 2 Freed-Hardeman. The two teams will meet in Henderson February 12 in a two-game set.
Preseason no. 25 LSU-Shreveport, a team BMC took 2-of-3 from last season, skips into Topper Town February 22 and 23 for two double-headers.
March 8 and 9 will see a crucial three-game series at Topper Field against perennial powerhouse and preseason no. 4 Faulkner University.
March 15 and 16 will see the Toppers travelling to preseason no. 17 Middle Georgia State for an important SSAC series.
Notable returners for the Toppers will be second baseman Zack Poteete (JR/Houston, MS), a career .314 hitter who batted .366 last season and swiped 16 bases and was named to the Second Team All-SSAC, and one of the top utility players in the conference, Grayson Bowman (SR/Murfreesboro, TN). Bowman is a career .295 hitter and hit .269 last season with 14 stolen bases.
Power players for BMC will be seniors Latalo Newson (SR/Senatobia, MS) and Hayden Tapper (SR/Nesbit, MS). Newson jacked four homers and drove in 33 runs while Tapper socked five homers and drove in 40 runs. The duo is projected to hit in the middle of the Topper lineup. Senior Nolan Stevens (SR/Bartlett, TN) will be expected to assume the load in catching duty this season.
BMC head coach Curt Fowler, entering his 10th season, said this could very well be the toughest schedule they've played.
"This will definitely be a challenging season for us. Our non-conference schedule will hopefully get us ready for SSAC play. It's no secret the SSAC is the best baseball conference in the nation, so we understand what lies ahead of us. We have some seasoned upper classmen who we expect to produce, but along with them we've added some transfers and younger guys who we think can have an immediate impact. We're excited to get the season started."
Fowler will be assisted this season by associate head coach Taylor Clark, assistant coach Chase Reeves and student assistants Jonas White and Austin Looker.
BMC opens the 2019 season February 1 against William Woods University in a doubleheader at Topper Field at noon and 2 p.m.