DURANT, Okla. — Southeastern baseball will toss out the first pitch of the 2013 season on Feb. 5 when it travels to Dallas, Texas, to take on Northwood at 2 p.m.
The Savage Storm are coming off a 34-17 season in 2012 in which they finished second in the Great American Conference standings in the regular season.
SE is picked to match that finish in 2013 after being selected to finish behind Southern Arkansas in the GAC preseason poll.
While not earning a national ranking, the Savage Storm were picked to finish sixth by the NCBWA in its regional preseason poll in the Central Region.
If SE hopes to return to that form it will likely come on the arms of its pitching staff which is the most experienced section of the team.
The Storm return all-South Central Region selection Cameron Mann who led the nation for much of the year in ERA and ultimately finished the year with a 1.82 ERA to go with an 8-2 record and 11 saves.
While Mann was a lock down closer, Brandon Marris posted one of the best seasons in the GAC as a starter a year ago. He finished with an 11-4 record in 16 appearances with 14 starts. He threw 89.2 innings with five complete games and four shutouts. He held batters to a .215 batting average and recorded 90 strikeouts.
They are joined by David Cagle, Levi Lewis, Nick Grimmett and Corey George who all made appearances on the hill last season.
SE will see a lot of new faces across the field, however, as the Storm is replacing starters in all eight fielding spots.
Southeastern brings in three new faces in the outfield, with Evan Ramsey as the team’s lone returner. Ramsey saw limited action a season ago, making 17 appearances with five starts and hitting .200 in 17 at bats.
The Storm brings in seven new players across the infield with Grimmett returning as the only player to have seen action in the infield a year ago. He posted a .290 average in 69 at bats while appearing in 26 games with 16 starts.
SE is replacing Brad Shankle behind the plate and will have Josh Smith and Mark Frank competing for the role that Shankle has held down for the past three seasons.
Southeastern dropped both meetings with the Knights last season, first going down in a 15-14 score-fest in Dallas before later dropping a 6-4 decision in Durant.
The Storm will finish the week with a trip to Kingsville, Texas, to play in the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach South Texas Baseball Classic. SE opens the event on Feb. 8 with a 2 p.m. matchup with Loyola (La.).
Southeastern will return home Feb. 15-16 for a three-game set with Henderson State in the GAC opener.