By Scotty Rouse
Piedmont Pride Head Coach Joe Hudak says his roster is coming together very nicely. “We got a late start on our roster, since we didn’t join the league until December”, said the veteran college coach. “Most summer teams have their rosters completed by November.”
When he started putting the roster together, Hudak had a goal of having 13-14 position players and 12-14 pitchers. He currently has 13 position players under contract. “We didn’t want to have too many position players which meant players having to sit a good bit”, he commented. “We want all our players to have a decent chance to play every day.” According to Hudak, assembling the pitching staff is the most difficult task. “The pitching staff has been the toughest to put together”, he explained, “simply because we play six games a week and there is a pitch count. We need 12-14 arms”. So far, the Pride has 9 pitchers on the roster, and is in conversations with 3-4 others. “I think we’ve assembled a very good staff, with a good mix of starters and relievers, and lefties and righties.”
The current roster boasts players from eleven different states plus the Dominican Republic. That diversity isn’t by accident, but rather by design. “A lot of summer teams have quite a few local players,” continued Hudak. “I really wanted players from as many different states as possible. These guys will make friends that will last a lifetime”. The states represented on the Pride roster are: New York, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, New Jersey, California, and Tennessee, in addition to North and South Carolina, and the Dominican Republic.
Hudak is looking forward to getting the players together, and molding them into a team in a short amount of time. The players report May 26, and their first game is June 1. That gives them six days to get to know each other, the coaching staff, and Hudak’s system. “I’m really excited to meet all the guys, and to get to know them”, said the former Winthrop skipper. “Our goal on the field is to help them become the best baseball players they can be, and to win the SCBL Championship. Off the field, we hope to all grow in our faith, and in our relationship with Christ, and to give back to our community”.
You can view the roster by hovering on the team button, and clicking on 2015 Roster. The Pride’s first home game is Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00PM. They play all home games at the Winthrop Ballpark.