With the 2018 season starting this week, Seminole State College of Florida’s athletics teams are gearing up for spring play. Raider fans can expect an enhanced sporting experience, including new additions to the baseball and softball fields and a ton of fresh talent, with 34 new players spread across the rosters on Seminole State’s baseball, softball and women’s golf teams.
Seminole State’s athletics season kicks off with its baseball home opener Friday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. at Jack Pantelias Field on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
The Raiders’ home opener will be the first time fans can experience the department’s upgraded concession offerings, brokered by its new partner R&B Concessions. New York-style, gourmet hotdogs, along with other hot food and cold drink options from The Jazzy Café will be available for fans to enjoy during all softball and baseball home games.
Friday’s game will also be the first time fans will be exposed to new bleacher shading, enhanced dugouts and one of two new scoreboards installed this past summer at Jack Pantelias Field and Raider Softball Field on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
The Raider Baseball team finished with a 25-25 record last season, its best record since 2013. With 17 new players added to the roster this season, Head Coach Mike Nicholson says the few returning veterans will play a big role in supplementing the new players.
“We are a young team,” says Nicholson. “The leadership from the guys we have returning and our team chemistry give us a real shot to do well in conference play.”
One player Nicholson can count on is returning all-conference sophomore shortstop Mike Christopoulos, who batted .331 with 42 hits, 25 runs and 13 RBIs in 40 games. Sophomores catcher Noah Wilkes, catcher Austin Hurwitz, right-handed pitcher Liam Silvagnoli and right-handed pitcher Zak Wilson will all be returning to the diamond for Seminole State this season.
The team ended its 2017 campaign ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Florida Conference (MFC), with a team batting average of .279, 257 runs and 38 home runs.
The Raider Softball team, under the leadership of Coach Courtney Miller, won its first-ever MFC title last season.
Miller, who will begin the spring campaign 33 wins shy of 1,000 for her coaching career, will have to formulate a solid starting lineup by assessing in-game performance and practice effort.
“We'll work the kinks out and hopefully be ready to compete in conference," says Miller.
The Raiders have 13 new players added to their roster this season.
Spring play begins Jan. 27, at the Junior College Kickoff Classic tournament in Clearwater.
The team concluded its fruitful run last season with a .367 batting average, .421 on-base percentage, 384 runs and 34 home runs.
The Raiders' home opener is Friday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. against the Polk State College Eagles.
Fans will have 21 opportunities to watch Raider Softball at home this season, and the team will host this year's National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 8 Tournament, May 3-6, at Boombah-Soldiers Creek Park near Longwood.
The Seminole State women’s golf team is off to a hot start following the first half of the 2017-18 season.
The team is ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA with a team-average stroke count of 73.70 per round.
Already this season, the Raiders have earned two first-place tournament finishes in highly competitive fields.
With four golfers ranked within the top 20 average stroke count nationally, the Raiders are on track to possibly win a fifth-straight NJCAA Region 8 Championship.
Freshman Worapitcha Anudit, ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA, leads the conference with a 71.39 scoring average. Following is sophomore Tuan-Yu Chiang (T4th), sophomore Alexandra Naumovski (T7th), freshman Karntida Thantamnu (T14th), and freshman Samantha Brimhall (20th).
Seminole State has five tournaments remaining before the postseason, including the annual home event, the Spring Break Classic, at Timacuan Golf Club in Lake Mary March 5-7.
All Raider home events are free for Seminole State students, faculty and staff with a valid Seminole State ID. Admission is also available to the general public for a small fee. For more information, and to view the Raiders' complete season schedule and results, visit seminolestateraiders.com.