Rock Hill SC- the Piedmont Pride will have nine players returning from the 2018 summer to play for the Red and Blue for the 2019 campaign.
The players returning to Rock Hill for their second summer with The Pride include catchers Joe Sibeto, and Austin Devinney, Infielders Mark Engel, and Robert Satcher, outfielders Kale Rhame, Richard De La Cruz,Tyler Estride, and pitchers John Bakke and JT Wolke .
At the plate, the Pride return 40% of their hits. Kale Rhame led all returning players with 33 hits in the 2018 summer campaign. All seven players returning at the plate averaged a .277 cumulative batting average. Joe Hudak will also get 32% of his RBI’s back for the 2019 summer.
Joe Sibeto, a catcher for D2 Slippery Rock University, will return for his second season with the Red and Blue. Last year, Sibeto appeared in 25 games for The Pride, posting a .246 average and totaling five doubles. In 26 games behind the plate, Sibeto recorded an astounding .996 fielding percentage while throwing out 12 opposing runners.
Austin DeVinney, A freshman catcher for USC-Lancaster, appeared in 11 games for the Pride last season. Devinney played as a graduating High school senior from nearby Rock Hill and gave the Pride a valuable third catcher.
Mark Engel, a transfer from Florence-Darlington College to Middle Tennessee State following the 2018-2019 season, was a key piece to the Pride infield last season. The shortstop played in 34 games, posted a .261 average, and drove in 22 runs. Engel also helped turn 12 double plays on the defensive side of the ball while posting a .952 fielding percentage.
Robert Satcher, an infielder for USC-Lancaster, will make the trek back to Rock Hill for his second season with the Red and Blue. Last season, Satcher posted a .382 batting average in 20 games.
Kale Rhame returns to the Pride after playing for Belmont Abbey in 2019. Rhame led the Red and Blue in batting average at the plate last season, posting an impressive .388 average, driving in 18 and sending one long ball over the fence.
Rhame is joined by outfield partner Richard De La Cruz from Belmont Abbey after transfering from Radford University last year. The Dominican Republic native returns for the 2019 summer after being a crucial part of the offense for the Red and Blue last season, driving in 13 runners, crushing seven doubles and registering a .333 average.
The 3rd returning outfielder for the Piedmont Pride is Tyler Estridge. Estridge has spent his freshman and sophomore season at The Citadel University. Last summer, Estridge posted a .200 batting average and drove in seven runs on nine hits.
The only starting pitcher returning from the 2018 regular season SCBL championship team is that of left handed John Bakke. Bakke, a sophomore from Morehead State University, appeared in 22.1 inning for the Red and Blue, started 3 games, posted a 4.433 earned run average, and had a 33:19 strikeout to walk ratio.
Joining Bakke from the pitching staff from 2018 will be a Junior from Slippery Rock University, JT Wolke. In 25.1 innings of work out of the bullpen last season, Wolke posted a 6.39 ERA while striking out 24 opposing hitters. “Having JT come back is big for our bullpen staff, he will be able to help out some of the younger guys” said Coach Hudak.
The Pride will kick off their season on May 29th, at home against the Lenoir Oilers. The Red and Blue will once again call York Comprehensive High School their home field with all games set for a 7 p.m. start time.
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