Charleston ace Lezcano Dean will miss half the season due to broken foot
CHARLESTON -- Charleston's baseball coach Brent Anderson only lost two players to graduation off last year's 11-9 team.
But the biggest loss of all may have come in Charleston's quarterfinals game of the basketball season.
In the game, senior star pitcher Lezcano Dean broke his left foot, leaving him on the disabled list for much of the baseball season.
"He is our ace," said Anderson. "He pitches all our big games for us and he has for the past two years. I think he has a lot to prove this year, but he won't be able to for a while."
Dean is not expected back until the second half of the season.
"It will definitely hurt us in every phase of game," said Anderson. "On offense, defense and on the mound he is our leader and to have him out is really a blow to us."
In Dean's absence junior Dustin Smoot will be expected to step up and take over.
"He has been our number two guys as of late, and with Lezcano out, I imagine he will see a lot more action," said Anderson.
Also returning for the Bluejays is center fielder Paul Brown. Brown led the team in both batting average and runs batted in last season.
"He has a great stick and I expect a lot out of him this season," said Anderson. "We are not going to have a very powerful team this season, as far as offense goes. And with Lezcano out, we will have even less power. We have been working on moving guys over on the hit and run. We try to bunt the ball and put pressure on the defense."
Defensively, Charleston will look the same this year in every position except left field. The Bluejays started three freshman last year though.
"We are young and we are going to make some mistakes, but every year I have been here our record has increased," said Anderson. "Last season was the first year we were over the .500 mark and we really want to keep it that way."
Anderson finished by talking about his team's practice habits. "These guys have a tremendous work ethic. They practice their butts off every day whether we are swinging the bat or running drills. I have to commend them for working so hard in practice."