Wildcat Baseball Added to the Record Books in 2019
Success, consistency and progress.
That’s what Davidson baseball coach Rucker Taylor sees when he reflects not only on the recently completed 2019 season but on the program’s overall trajectory as well.
Among other accomplishments, the 2019 seniors set the program record for wins by a class with 125. It’s the third straight year the Wildcats have raised that bar, as the 2017 class set the mark with 120 wins and the 2018 seniors won 124.
“To have another senior class set the career wins as a group is an exciting thing,” said Taylor, who led the Wildcats to a 29-22 mark in his first season as head coach. “There has been some consistency within our program, and this 2019 group has had a major impact in that area.”
Additionally, a number of team and individual marks have been added to the program’s record book, including:
• The pitching staff set program single-season marks in strikeouts with 421 (and 121 looking) and with strikeouts per nine innings (8.44). The Wildcats held opponents to a .265 batting average, second-best in the program.
• Senior right-hander Casey Sutherland finished his career atop the program rankings in walks per nine innings (1.43), while senior right-hander Austin Leonard now ranks first in strikeouts per nine innings (9.3) and second in appearances (90).
• Freshman right-hander Gabe Levy’s 11 saves are tied for second in program history and tied for first among freshmen closers. He had the second-most saves in the country among freshmen.
• Senior outfielder Justin Lebek and junior second baseman Matt Frey each set new marks in the hit-by-pitch category. Lebek is now the career leader with 32, while Frey set the single-season mark with 17.
• Senior third baseman/catcher Eric Jones tied Davidson’s single-game mark with three doubles at N.C. Central April 6 and finished in the top 10 of numerous career hitting categories, including hits (247, 3rd), total bases (387), RBI (142, 8th) and home runs (31, 9th).
• Senior shortstop Max Bazin finished with a program record 25 sacrifices.
• Sophomore designated hitter Ruben Fontes led the Atlantic 10 with 14 home runs and tied for fifth among single-season Wildcat performances.
• Freshman center fielder Trevor Candelaria tied the single-season record with two grand slams.
“If you look at the year-end stats, a lot of guys did things well,” said Taylor. “A couple of guys have some individual numbers that jump out. Bigger picture, to have some seniors place their name in career record book is a wonderful sendoff for those guys.”