The USC Beaufort baseball team began fall practice this week with a lot of new faces as the Sand Sharks welcomed a group of 16 freshmen and transfers.
After last season's school-record 41 wins and their first NAIA World Series trip, the Sand Sharks lost 17 seniors from the 2012 squad.
Among the transfers who should make an immediate impact are infielders Jon Andrews (SCAD Savannah, .269, 18 RBIs) and Adam Spires (USC Aiken), outfielder Ryan Doeppel (Iowa Wesleyan, .316, 5 HRs, 37 RBIs, 19 SBs) and right-handed pitchers C.J. Kelly (Seminole State College), Kutler Lane (Pensacola State College), David Hannan (Herkimer County CC, 0.89 ERA, 20 1-3 IP) and Hunter Englehart (Hartford).
The Sand Sharks also have added a strong group of freshmen led by switch-hitter Brandon Joyce (.327, 18 RBIs), who can play catcher and both corner infield spots, left-handed hitting catcher Nick Payne (.471, 23 RBIs) and right-handed pitcher Zack Daniels, younger brother of Sand Sharks pitcher Caleb Daniels.
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Two former Beaufort High School Eagles join the USCB squad, as well. Mark Jones, an infielder in high school who will convert to the mound, and Mitchell Stewart, a strong-armed, slick-fielding infielder, are likely to redshirt.
USCB incoming class
Jon Andrews, Jr., INF (Kingsland, Ga./SCAD Savannah); Abel Cubero, Jr., RHP (Tampa, Fla./Central Alabama CC); Zack Daniels, Fr., RHP (Norton, Va./J.I. Burton HS); Ryan Doeppel, Sr., OF (Arcadia, Calif./Iowa Wesleyan); Hunter Englehart, Jr., RHP (Wyoming, Pa./Hartford University); David Hannan, Jr., RHP (Albany, N.Y./Herkimer County CC); Mark Jones, Fr., RHP (Beaufort/Beaufort HS); Brandon Joyce, Fr., C/INF (Tavernier, Fla./Coral Shores HS); C.J. Kelly, Jr., RHP (Longwood, Fla./Seminole (Fla.) State College); Kutler Lane, So., RHP (Altamonte Springs, Fla./Pensacola State); Chris Maldonado, So., OF (Florence/Bishop Shanahan (Pa.) HS); Charlie McGinnis, Fr., 1B (Wheaton, Ill./Team Illinois Baseball Academy); Nick Payne, Fr., C (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph HS); Adam Spires, So., INF (Gilbert/USC Aiken); Mitchell Stewart, Fr., INF (Beaufort/Beaufort HS); Jack Zanine, Fr., C (Danbury, Conn./Danbury HS).