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Pats Set for Opening Day against Norcross


Photo Courtesy: Daniel Wilson/Wilson Action Photo

LEADING OFF

Coming off two straight appearances in the Sunbelt Championship series, Marietta opens the 2019 season against the Norcross Astros in a rematch of last year's Sunbelt Semi-Final series.


OPENING WEEKEND VS. NORCROSS

Friday, 7 p.m.: at Marietta High School

Saturday, 12 p.m.: at Peachtree Ridge High School

Monday, 7 p.m.: at Marietta High School


TOP RETURNEES

RHP Harrison Osborn (1.78 ERA, 3-0)

RHP Jacob Hester (0.80 ERA, 1-1)

1B Matthew Vaccaro (.304 avg., 1 HR, 15 RBI) - Top returning hitter

LF/1B Livingston Morris (.245 avg., 1 HR, 15 RBI)

C Randy Guevarez (.185 avg., 2 HR, 13 RBI)

LHP Nate Dupree (3.97 ERA, 0-3)


TOP NEWCOMERS

OF Adam Alicea (Fr., Gordon State)

INF/OF Paul Grazzini (Jr., Georgia College)

INF Payton Eeles (So., Cedarville University)

RHP Ryan Suppa (Fr., University of Georgia)

RHP Ronny Piepmeier (So., Chattanooga State)

OF/LHP Khalil Wilson (Fr., Gordon State)

SS/RHP Colin Teegarden (Jr., Valdosta State)


NOTING THE PATRIOTS

  • The Marietta Patriots open the 2019 season at home against the Norcross Astros in a rematch of the 2018 Sunbelt Semi-Finals. The Patriots won the series 2-1 to advance to their second straight Sunbelt Championship.

  • The Patriots look to return to the Sunbelt Championship for a third straight season after two consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018. The Pats dethroned the Atlanta Crackers in 2017 to capture their first Sunbelt title, but fell short against the Brookhaven Bucks in 2018.

  • Coach Gil. Navarro returns for his sixth season as the head coach of the Marietta Patriots, a position he has held since their first season in 2014. Under his guidance, the Pats have reached the playoffs in all but one season.

  • Marietta returns nine players from 2018, and the Pats welcome 20 newcomers to the roster this season. Among the top returnees from 2018 are Matthew Vaccaro, Livingston Morris, Nate Dupree, and Harrison Osborn.

  • Nate Dupree takes the mound for the Patriots on Opening Day. The senior left-handed pitcher from Kennesaw State made six appearances for the Patriots last season with four starts and a 3.97 ERA and 19 strikeouts. At KSU, Dupree made 16 appearances for the Owls in 2019, going 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA while recording 21 strikeouts and one save.

  • Among the top returners on offense are Matthew Vaccaro, Livingston Morris, and Randy Guevarez. Vaccaro (.304, 1, 15), the Patriots top returning hitter, recorded a hit team-record 11 straight games last season, while Guevarez and Morris each played a pivotal role in the Pats opening round series win over Norcross last year. Guevarez blasted two home runs in Game Two of that series, while Morris batted in all for of the Patriots runs in Game Three to help send the Pats to the Sunbelt Championship series.

  • Harrison Osborn emerged late last summer as one of the Patriots top arms, going five or more innings in three appearances in July and early-August. The right-handed pitchr from Point University finished the 2018 season with a 1.78 ERA and is expected to return to the starting rotation again in 2019 along with Dupree and Ronny Piepmeier.

  • The Patriots bullpen is boosted by the return of Jacob Hester. The left-handed pitcher from Georgia College made 10 appearances in 2018 with a 1-1 record and a 0.80 ERA. Also expected to contribute out of the pen is Alex Watkins, the team's active leader in career appearances (22) and saves (6), and Ryan Suppa, who could appear as both a starter and reliever through the 2019 season.

  • With only 6 teams in the Sunbelt League, each team will once again face each other six times in the regular season over a span of two 3-game series.

  • The Patriots will once again play their home games at Marietta High School for the 2019 season.

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