It was an exciting season for Cougar Baseball, filled with multiple win streaks and close games.
Under the reigns of head coach Mike Policastro, who is in his 26th season at Cleveland State, the Cougars finished with a 27-20 record and 15-9 conference mark, which propelled them to third in the TCCAA standings. Their spot in the rankings was their highest finish in the past seven seasons.
Though the Cougars lost to Dyersburg State and Motlow State in the TCCAA Tournament to end their impressive season resume, their regular season was nothing short of spectacular. On March 29 and 30, the Cougars swept Columbia State in Columbia, Tenn. and Volunteer State on April 12 and 13 in Gallatin, Tenn. Cleveland State was 14-10 on the road overall.
The Cougars also played well at Cougar Field this season, securing a 13-8 record. They won series with conference foes Jackson State and Chattanooga State on their home turf as well as many different non-conference series.
Cleveland State baseball was also honored well awards-wise. Both Lance Dockery and Tucker Mendenhall were named to the All-TCCAA Second Team and Ethan Walls received the college's George Mathis Scholarship Award for his excellent work in the classroom.
"I thought that our team played very hard this year," said Policastro. "We were able to overcome key losses from injuries and other players leaving. We had solid sophomore leadership and the players who we needed to have good seasons did. Sophomore pitchers Ryan Inches, Ethan Walls and Brock Browning did a really good job for us. Ryan and Ethan kept us in games and Brock had 24 appearances out of the bullpen. Jonathan Hickman was a key addition at the break that solidified our weekend rotation. Offensively, we were led by sophomores Tucker Mendenhall and Marcial Hernandez with freshman Lance Dockery and Andrew Carpenter also being major contributors. I want to thank the sophomores for their effort this year and wish them the best. We believe that we have a solid core returning next year to build on the success of this year's team."
The Cougars will look to build on their excellent season in the spring of 2020. Stay tuned to cscougars.com for off-season updates.
Batting Average: Jonathan Hickman, .381
Home Runs: Rhett Baldwin, 7
RBI: Jonathan Hickman, 39
Runs: Tucker Mendenhall, 43
Doubles: Lance Dockery, 17
Triples, Lance Dockery, 3
Stolen Bases: Tucker Mendenhall, 24
ERA: Ethan Walls, 4.48
Innings Pitched: Ryan Inches, 72.0
Strikeouts: Ryan Inches, 83
Wins: Ethan Walls, 5
Appearances: Brock Browning, 24
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