SANTEE, Calif. – In his first year at the helm, head coach Landon Burt finished with an 11-41 record. In 2016, Coach Burt believes he has a better squad and will definitely improve in the wins department from last year.
"A good friend once told me you sometimes 'You can win through losing'," Coach Burt said. "Last year was a constant reminder of that message in that we lost so much that we learned valuable lessons heading into this season. We have a really good group of kids and ones that exemplify what this school stands for in Truth, Impact and Purpose."
The Hawks return just 12 players from last year. Senior Gio Ochoa returns for SDC on the mound. He was the leader last year on the mound, throwing SDC's first ever no hitter against Biola last year. Stephen Haviar comes in as the team's best returning hitter. He hit .312 and tallied 26 RBI. But Coach Burt brings in plenty of new faces, including four NCAA Div. I transfers. San Diego State transfers Ryan Alvarez, Michael Robards, and Patrick Upchurch look to fill voids in the SDC lineup. San Jose State transfer Jeremiah Wiley brings experience on the mound, a place where it lacked in 2015.
SDC opens their season Wednesday as they travel to Cal State San Marcos then head to Carson, CA to take on Cal State Dominguez Hills for a 3-game series.
Feb. 9 will mark the first home game of the season for the Hawks against Bethesda University at 2 p.m. Later that week, they host Arizona Christian in the first GSAC games of the year.
Three GSAC teams find themselves ranked in the NAIA Top 25. The Hawks welcome No. 22 Vanguard on Feb. 26 and 27. March 4 and 5 marks the first road games against a Top 25 team in Westmont. The Warriors come in at No. 16. SDC's final games against current ranked teams are against No. 10 The Master's College on April 1 and 2.
"My goal moving into this season was to develop a team cohesiveness and a relentless attitude where we are fighting for each other opposed to individual results," Coach Burt said. "Good teams play steady baseball all year long but it's the great teams that gel together that find a way to have successful results every day. "
To see the full schedule, click here.