For just the second time in the history of Bryan College Baseball, the program finished the season with over 40 wins. The final record of 44-18 is the best record in Bryan Baseball history and the Lions finished 3rd in AAC play with a mark of 17-10. The Lions went to their second NAIA Opening Round in a row in Daytona Beach, FL and again made it to the 3rd day of regional play.
More than the win total however, the baseball team placed more players on the Appalachian Athletic Conference Team than ever before and for the first time had a player honored with a player of the year award when senior Kenny Knudsen was awarded the Pitcher of the Year designation; also making the All-AAC Team were outfielders Langston Calhoun and Preston King as well as second baseman Cody Rhinehart. Elected to the second team were pitcher Cody Rhinehart, outfielders Chris Jeffries and Kevin Roberts, and third baseman Joey Underwood.
For the fourth year in a row Bryan College was home to the AAC Freshman of the Year in catcher Jesus Astudillo. Cody Rhinehart at second base, Andrew Urbistondo at short stop and Kevin Roberts in center field were selected by the AAC coaches to the Rawlings Gold Glove team. Rhinehart and Urbistondo were part of a strong infield defense for the Lions in 2015 that fielded .971 (good for 3rd in the NAIA) and turned a league leading 70 double plays in 62 games.
On their way to 44 wins, the Lions won at least 5 games in a row 4 different times and recorded 12 wins in each month of the regular season, with 3 wins coming in January and 5 coming in postseason play in May. Bryan was led by junior outfielders Preston King, (.359/.673/.409 with 23 doubles, 3 triples, 13 home runs, 68 RBI) and Langston Calhoun (.346/.570/.421 with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs, 62 RBI). Senior outfielder Chris Jeffries had a great final season, leading the team in batting average at .363 with a school record 62 runs scored to go with 13 doubles, 6 triples and 5 home runs. Third baseman Joey Underwood was second on the team in batting average at .362 recording 10 doubles and 6 home runs.
On the mound, the Lions were led by senior AAC Pitcher of the Year Kenny Knudsen. Knudsen recorded 12 wins on the season with an ERA of 1.50 a batting average against of .163 and 102 strikeouts in 96 innings pitched, all of which are regular season records for the Lions. Out of the bullpen senior left hander John Cain had his best year as he recorded 5 saves in his 23 appearances with an ERA of 2.09 and 44 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Highlights of the year on the mound came when Knudsen and junior Francisco Colin recorded no-hitters with Knudsen's coming against Taylor University (IN) and Colin's against the University of Rio Grande (OH).
With all the accomplishments on the field for the Lions, head coach Taylor Hasty defined the year differently, "This season was successful because of how our team came together around the idea of family and seeking to honor Christ as well as Bryan College throughout the year. The senior leadership of this team and the commitment of the players to one another is what made this year fun and makes our program great. Team 13 set a high standard and laid the foundation for the future success of this program."
The baseball program at Bryan completes their 13th season since the program was restarted in the fall of 2002. The 14th season will begin in February of 2016. For more information please check out the website www.bryanlions.com and/or reach out to the Bryan coaching staff.