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Baseball 2003 Review: Continuing the Tradition

FROSTBURG, MD - The Frostburg State University baseball program took another step in returning to the national spotlight in 2003. The season proved to be a great success, at the Bobcats posted a 31-12-1 record, an impressive 13-game winning streak and a late-season national ranking of 29th in the country.

The 30-win season was FSU’s sixth in team history, its first since 1999 and the first under fourth-year head coach Chris McKnight.

The Bobcats proved one of the nation’s most explosive offensive clubs with strong pitching to match. FSU hit .343 and scored 7.9 runs per game, and the pitching staff posted a 4.01 ERA, the team’s best mark since 1999.

"We had an outstanding year and I am very proud of the team as well as the individual players and all the accomplishments they earned," said McKnight. "Everyone worked hard and put forth the necessary effort to be successful this season."

With quality senior leadership and the addition of solid young talent, the Bobcats set their sights on an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title and an at-large berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Frostburg State began the year strong, posting a 7-1-1 mark and outscoring their opponents 55-24 during that stretch. The Bobcats won the Chowan College Tournament with a 3-1 mark before reeling off four straight wins.

The Bobcats then began AMCC play by splitting a doubleheader with La Roche before setting out on its annual spring break trip to Georgia. FSU cooled off a bit, pulling out a 2-1 win over Savannah College of Art & Design but dropping three close contests.

Frostburg State returned from Georgia and found its rhythm, winning 19 of its next 21 games heading into the AMCC Tournament. The 19 wins included 13 straight and one impressive come-from-behind victory over Salisbury, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

The Bobcats seemed to tire at the end of the season, as they finished second to Penn State Behrend in the AMCC Tournament. FSU then dropped its final two games of the year in an attempt to get some votes to receive a postseason bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bobcats received incredible individual seasons from Sean Davis, Scott Feller, Taylor Dixon, Dave Sanchez and Mark Teson offensively.

Davis led the Bobcats with one of the most impressive all-around seasons in FSU history. He paced the team with a .433 batting average, a school-record 65 hits, five triples, 44 RBI, 99 total bases, five sacrifice flies and 23 stole bases.

Davis also ranked either second or third on the team in runs, doubles, extra base hits, walks and fielding percentage. He was also one of three players to play in all 44 games, a team single-season record shared with Taylor Dixon and Bobby Farmer this year.

Teson and Sanchez finished two great careers in which they have earned much recognition from the AMCC and have put up some numbers that rank very high in FSU history.

Teson set a new single-season record with 42 walks and also became the school’s career leader with 101 career passes. He also tied another team record with 50 runs scored and posted a stellar .549 on-base percentage.

Meanwhile, Sanchez topped his career by setting school all-time marks in games played (147) and at-bats (423).

Feller and Dixon provided the pop in the lineup, combining for 13 of the team’s 28 home runs, 75 RBI and 67 runs scored. The duo also smacked 39 extra base hits.

On the mound Brent Lutz, Billye Hollister, Dan Sidorowicz and Matt Sillers led a strong pitching staff with quality outings throughout the season.

Lutz started off the season winning three games at the Chowan Tournament to earn MVP honors. Hollister pitched well early in the season, posting a 5-0 record with an ERA under 2.00 before dropping his last two decisions.

Sidorowicz began the season in the bullpen but ended the year as the team’s top pitcher with a 6-2 record, including three complete games and one shutout.

Sillers and Tiller were the biggest surprises for the pitching staff as they each earned three wins and had ERA’s of 2.53 and 3.24 respectively.

The future of Frostburg State baseball continues to look strong, as the Bobcats return most of their pitching staff and many of their key offensive players. They will need to fill some holes as they lose three outfielders.

"We have a good portion of our pitching staff and infield returning, so I am confident we can put up the same impressive numbers next season," said McKnight. "It is a nice foundation with which to start the 2004 season, and we hope we can take that next step needed to make the NCAA Tournament."

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780