By: Christian Hinkel | Contributing Writer
South Alabama baseball is back for the 2020 College Baseball regular season Friday night as the Jaguars get set to square off against the Campbell Fighting Camels. The Jaguars will host the Camels in a three-game series from Friday to Sunday.
The Jags are coming off a 30-26 record in last year’s campaign that ended with a loss to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Expectations are high this season as South Alabama was picked to win the Eastern Division of the Sun Belt by the league office.
Ethan Wilson, the Jaguars’ leader in batting average, runs, and hits, is set to lead the way as he returns for his sophomore season. The reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year has been named Second-Team Preseason All-American by several media outlets including D1Baseball and NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association). This is after Wilson was also named to the Freshman All-American team last season.
The Jags will return plenty of experience on the pitching mound for the Jags as well. Right-handed pitcher Drake Nightengale returns after posting a 6-2 record in 15 appearances and 12 starts last season. The Hattiesburg native was selected as a Second-Team Preseason All-American, and also Preseason Pitcher of the Year in the Sun Belt.
Notable games on the schedule this season include road trips to Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, and an early-season two-game series test against the defending College World Series Champions in the Vanderbilt Commodores. Conference play will begin on March 13th when the Jags take the road to Atlanta to face the Georgia State Panthers.