The Snead State baseball team opened up its 2018 season at home with two wins against Mineral Area College on Friday, Feb. 2.
The Parsons defeated the college from Missouri in game one 3-2. Joseph Hartsfield doubled on a 0-1 count to score a run for Snead State in the second inning. Hartsfield went 3-for-3 at the plate.
Floyd and Brayden McCollum both picked up RBIs for Snead State.
Meet the 2018 Team
Coach Gerry Ledbetter is entering his 26th season as the Parsons' leader. Returning to the coaching staff this year is Associate Head Coach Casey Underwood and Assistant Coach Jerry Wayne Hallmark. Snead State added Assistant Coach Jeff Simmons to its staff this year.
The team is returning 19 sophomores and has welcomed 25 freshmen to its roster.
Four Parson sophomores signed early in the fall to continue their baseball and academic careers at the four-year level – pitchers Amos Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) with Georgia Tech and Joel Cheatwood (Chelsea) with the University of South Alabama; and infielder Brayden McCollum (Cedartown, Ga.) and outfielder Zonterious Scofield (Cedartown, Ga.) with Valdosta State.
Returning conference starters Willingham and Cheatwood will lead Snead State from the mound this season. The Parsons' pitching staff also includes sophomores Heath Senn (Opelika), Taylor Shaddix (Ohatchee), Devin Freeman (Attalla) and transfers Bailey Isbell (Moody) and Trey Leonard (Roma, Ga.).
Freshmen Cameron Furr (Trussville), Dylan Watkins (Bessemer), Joseph Hartsfield (Birmingham), Kade Williams (Hanceville), Brady Gilbert (Geraldine) and Austin Goode (Wellington) round out the pitching staff.
Scofield (Cedartown, Ga.) is the only returner for Snead State in the outfield. He batted .341 in 2017. Sophomore Tyler Ashley (Fyffe) and freshmen Caleb Floyd (Birmingham), Alex Prosser (Dallas, Ga.) and Dylan Cook (Trussville) are all fighting to get in to the starting lineup in the outfield.
McCollum and Matthew Mullinax (Calhoun, Ga.) will lead the Snead State infield. McCollum batted .313 in 2017. Other sophomore infielders include Riley Shaw (Alexandria), Briley Reeves (Florence), Kaylib Hanson (Boaz), Bailey Isbell (Moody), and DJ Sledge (Sheffield).
Several freshmen are also looking to help in the Parson infield including Joseph Hartsfield (Birmingham), Jacob Bobo (Attalla), Jacob Rich (Hoover), Josh Morgan (Trussville), Jake Brown (Rockmart, Ga.), Ross Strickland (Sardis) and Andrew Attaway (Loxahatchee, Fla.).
Academics Remain a Top Priority for 2018 Season
"Our program sets the example that to be successful; it takes hard work in the classroom and on the field. We strive for the members of our team to be role models for the community and to inspire young players to strive and make it to the college level one day," said Coach Ledbetter. "We want to see our entire sophomore class graduate with their degree, return to the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament and finish in the top five in the ACCC."
Six players finished the fall semester with a perfect 4.0 grade point average – Dylan Cook of Trussville, Brady Gilbert of Geraldine, Drew Guffey of Hoover, Tyler Pike from Decatur, Jacob Rich from Hoover and Ross Strickland from Sardis.
The Parsons earned a 3.2 team GPA with 70-percent of the team having a 3.0 GPA or better.
Last year, the Parsons had seven NJCAA Academic All-Americans. The team was also named an Academic All-American team.
"If we work hard in the classroom, baseball will take care of itself," said Coach Ledbetter. "We want to be named an Academic All-American team for the fourth year in a row this year."
The team faces a tough schedule this season that includes a series on the road in New Orleans to take on Delgado College in March. The Parsons will take on nationally-ranked Wabash College in a double header on Friday starting at 10 a.m. at home.
Conference season will start in March. Snead State will face Marion Military, Wallace State, Lawson State, Bevill State, Shelton State, Southern Union, Central Alabama and Calhoun in ACCC northern division play.