The Cougar baseball team is primed to bounce back in 2015.
With returning players like pitcher Kolton Mahoney, shortstop Tanner Chauncey and first baseman Dillon Robinson, this year’s baseball team has raised expectations following a disappointing 22–31 record last season.
Mahoney was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB draft but elected to return for another year of baseball as a Cougar. Mahoney threw the seventh no-hitter in BYU history last year in a 5–0 win against Nicholls State. Mahoney finished that game with 102 pitches in nine innings of work, striking out 11 and walking two.
“I’m going to try my best to help the team win. I’m not worried about personal stats,” Mahoney said. “These men have great chemistry and a better energy than ever before, which we hope will transfer onto the field.”
Mahoney believes this year’s team has one of the deepest pitching staffs he has seen, including some strong relievers, which will help the Cougars go further in games. Transfers Austin Kamel and Michael Rucker will join Mahoney and seniors Jeff Barker and James Lengal — all able to pitch above 90 mph.
“I’m excited about our pitching staff and the ability we’ll have to use a number of guys in match-up situations while keeping our end of game guys fresh,” second-year coach Mike Littlewood said.
Chauncey, BYU’s leading hitter his freshman year in 2012, recently returned from his mission to Brazil and will play his first season back with the Cougars.
“Everybody is friends, and we have each others’ back,” Chauncey said. “With that kind of attitude we can focusing on winning more games.”
Robinson hopes to continue his success as he undergoes a position change, moving from third base to first in his senior year. In 2014, Robinson led the team with a .369 batting average and was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team. Robinson is excited and optimistic about this season after missing 13 games last year due to ankle injuries.