HARROGATE, TN -- Baseball season has arrived as the Lincoln Memorial University baseball team is scheduled to open the 2012 season tomorrow afternoon with the first game of their annual three-game set at University of South Carolina-Aiken. The Railsplitters will look to build on their 29-22 record and sixth place finish in the SAC last season.
Last season, the Railsplitters showcased one of the most formidable power lineups in the South Atlantic Conference. With five of their top run-producers lost to graduation, LMU will put a revamped offense on display. Three Preseason All-SAC Second Team selections will lead the attack this season.
Senior Gelson Perez, an ABCA National Player to Watch and Preseason All-Southeast Region Second Team selection, will lead this group. In 2011, Perez hit .335 with 47 RBIs and a .466 slugging percentage. Senior infielder Joe Horsley earned Preseason All-SAC Second Team and he will be expected to be a major catalyst in the Railsplitter lineup. He started all 51 games a season ago where he hit .290 and stole 20 bases in 22 attempts. Cody Baker will return to the top of the order for LMU where he has been one of the best leadoff men in the SAC. Last season, Baker batted .343 with 68 hits and a .429 on-base percentage.
The pitching staff will be headed by junior Austin Johnson, an Preseason All-SAC Second Team selection, in the 2012 campaign. Johnson was brilliant last season as he compiled a 3.06 era and a 6-2 record. Those numbers were even more impressive in the SAC as his conference-only statistics were marked with a 2.25 era and a 6-0 record. Senior Andy Fennell returns to the staff to give the Railsplitters a formidable one-two punch. He finish 4-0 in the SAC last season.
The Railsplitters will be on the road for the first half of February as their home-opener falls on February 21st when they will host national power, Northern Kentucky, in a two-game set.
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