Bryan College Baseball returns to the field in 2015 after its first AAC Championship season in 2014. The Lions won the 2014 AAC Tournament and advanced to the NAIA Opening Round for the first time in program history.
The 13th season of play since the program was restarted in 2003 will again feature a tough slate of competitors including the defending NAIA National Champion, Cumberland University, who ended the Lions' 2014 season. The 55 game schedule also features 6 other teams ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA Pre-Season Top-25 ranking. The 24-game Appalachian Athletic Conference game schedule will also be tough as the conference returns 10 of the 18 All-AAC team members from the 2014 season and several of the best teams in the conference return most of their line-up and pitching from the previous season. The Lions are picked to finish 2nd in the AAC behind Tennessee Wesleyan who is again picked to win the AAC title.
"Pre-season rankings mean very little," remarked Bryan Head Coach Taylor Hasty. "Our conference is going to be a dog fight this year. There are some really good teams in the AAC and I have great respect for the coaches who prepare those teams year in and year out. We will have to be very prepared in order to do well in a tough conference."
For the first time in Coach Hasty's tenure as a head coach the Lions will open in January when perennial NCCAA World Series participant Toccoa Falls come to town for the opening series. The Eagles took 2 of 3 from the Lions in 2014 and return a core of talent to a team that has been to the NCCAA World Series 5 years in a row, winning 4 of them.
The month of February will feature a mid-week trip to Martin Methodist who finished 3rd in the Southern States Athletic Conference in the 2014 season. The trip to Pulaski, TN will be the only time the Lions leave Dayton for non-conference play in the month as they play host on the weekend to the University of Rio Grande, Taylor University and Indiana University Southeast. The Bryan Invitational will see newcomer, Cornerstone University, as well as returning teams Shawnee State University and Madonna University. The final weekend of the month will put the Lions back on the road as they open AAC play against Truett McConnell in Cleveland, GA.
The March slate features AAC trips to Point University and Reinhardt University. Tennessee Wesleyan College and St. Andrews College make the trip over to Bryan's campus to round out a tough March conference schedule. The mid-week schedule features two newcomers to the Lions' spring schedule as Judson University and Roosevelt University come to town on their spring break trips south. NCAA Division II Lee University again makes an appearance on the schedule along with Lindsey Wilson and Emmanuel College. Martin Methodist makes a return trip to Bryan which finishes the March mid-week contests.
A busy April features bookend road trips in AAC play as the Lions travel to face the Buffaloes of Milligan College to start the month and finish the month and regular season play in West Virginia against the Bluefield College Rams. The mid-week schedule is highlighted by a road trip for the Lions as they play Lindsey Wilson and then defending national champion Cumberland University on back to back days.
The Lions will look to defend their AAC Tournament Title the first week of May and advance once again to the Opening Round of the NAIA National Tournament looking to earn a berth into the Avista NAIA World Series hosted by Lewis Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho.