The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 55

Iowa Western Tops in Preseason - No. 1 by NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Source: Western Iowa Athletics 2014 saw the Reivers (56-11) pound Miami Dade in the NJCAA World Series for 20 hits & 17 runs to clinch their 3rd NJCAA D1 National Title in 5 seasons. The Reivers are led by Head Coach Marc Rardin – who will be inducted into the NJCAA hall of fame at the Alpine Bank NJCAA World Series in the end of May. The 2015 season will be Coach Rardin 13th year at the helm of the Reivers. Defensively, the Reivers set a team record in fielding percentage of .969 and pitching set team records in most strikeouts 559 and most shut outs with 13. Southern Nevada No. 2 in the Preseason - NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Source: The Baseball Observer Nick Garritano is entering his fifth season as the head coach for the Coyotes. “It is an honor to be recognized as the pre-season number 2 team in the country. I would definitely like to up there in the end of the year but this is a great honor for our program. I believe our pitching staff led by Phil Bickford is the biggest reason we are in the top 2. Bickford was the 10th pick in the 2013 draft to the Toronto Blue Jays.” The offense will be led by Tyler Brown, a sophomore 2B that was a first team All SWAC member last year. Tyler was a 40th round pick of the Pirates in last year’s draft. He hit .349 in 175 at bats with 49 runs scored, 12 doubles and 31 stolen bases. On the mound, Phil Bickford will be the number 1. The Coyotes also have freshman Gabe Gonzalez (13th round last year’s draft) and sophomore Anthony Martine (University of Nevada signee) that Coach Garritano is “looking for big things out of.” “Our goal this season is to steadily improve and stay healthy throughout the season. Like every team in the land, we want to be peaking at the right time of the year.”