Augusta State University's baseball team had a disappointing season in 2006. The Jaguars were coming off a terrific year in 2005, but last season everything that could go wrong, did.
Head coach Skip Fite is back at the helm for ASU, and he has a roster loaded with local players.
Catcher Jeremy Armstrong (5-foot-8 inch, 172-pound Jr.) and pitcher Ben Dukes (5-foot-10 inch, 155-pound So.) are both from Greenbrier High School and will return to ASU this season. Armstrong appeared in 38 games in 2006 (34 starts), hitting .243 with 14 RBIs, while Dukes turned in a solid freshman campaign going 4-3 with an ERA of 5.05. He struck out 28 batters in 57 innings of work.
Fite also will have four newcomers from Columbia County. Freshman Alex Sickman, of Evans High School, and Eric Schnitzler, of Harlem High School, will suit up for the Jags. The 6-foot, 178-pound Sickman is versatile, but he will most likely be used behind the plate. Schnitzler will provide pitching depth.
A pair of transfers will likely be counted on heavily this year. Former Augusta Christian Schools star Jonathan Herriman (6-foot, 171-pound So.) comes to ASU after a season at Shorter College and will pitch this season.
Another right-handed pitcher is former Evans star Zack Baker. Baker spent last season at South Georgia College. Like Sickman, Baker is a versatile player but will likely spend most of his time on the mound for ASU. The Jags open their season Feb. 2 at Lake Olmstead Stadium with a three-game series against Carson Newman.
Brush and Satcher pick up honors
The Augusta Christian Lady Lions knocked off the host team to capture the Thomas Sumter Christmas Tournament last week. Augusta Christian was down by eight points going into the fourth quarter, but outscored Thomas Sumter 17-7 in the final period to earn the title 44-42.
Lynlee Satcher paced the Lady Lions in the championship game with 14 points. Satcher picked up all-tournament honors, while teammate Casey Brush turned in her normal solid play and was named the tournament's MVP.
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