2018 Baseball Preview: Jackson State
2017 Record: 38-17, 20-4 SWAC (Won East Division)
Key Returners: Jesus Santana, Lamar Briggs
Key Losses: Bryce Brown, Miguel Yrigoyen, CJ Newsome
Following a season that saw the Jackson State Tigers take home the east division crown, only to have a disappointing early exit in the SWAC baseball tournament, head coach Omar Johnson will need to overcome some key pieces from last year’s team moving on.
The Tigers will need to overcome the loss of its catalyst on offensive from a season ago and best overall hitter, Bryce Brown. Brown led JSU in batting average (.374), on base percentage (.514), and was tied for second on the team in hits with 61.
JSU will also need to replace the production of ace Miguel Yrigoyen. Yrigoyen led the team in wins last season with nine, and had a 2.93 ERA, led the team in innings pitched (89) and was second in strikeouts (65). All while starting 13 games for JSU last season.
Returning for Johnson this season is 2018 preseason All-SWAC selection at first third base Jesus Santana. Santana was a powerful bat in the lineup for the Tigers last season. He led the team in slugging percentage (.525), was fifth in runs scores with 40, fourth in hits (57), and first in RBIs with 65.
Lamar Briggs will also be back for Jackson State this season. Briggs, who was names to the 2018 preseason All-SWAC first team at OF was a consistent bat the JSU a season who. He was second on the team in batting average (.356), third in slugging percentage (.470), led the team in hits with 78.
Jackson State and head coach Omar Johnson will look to once again be contenders for the SWAC title and east division crown this season. To do that, that Tigers will need to get contribution from new players to replace the production of the key pieces that graduated last season.