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A stroll through the Liberty Minutemen dugout turns up a lot of familiar faces. In fact, the vast majority of players on Head Coach Stewart Grant’s roster have made significant marks in other sports: football, basketball, wrestling and golf.
The question is: Can this crew acquit itself on the diamond as it has on other sporting fields? Well, that’s why they play the games, isn’t it?
A chat with Coach Grant gave us some insight. By the way, in addition to being Liberty’s head baseball coach, Grant is a multi-sport guy, also serving as the Minutemen’s defensive coordinator during football season.
As usual, the Minutemen’s fortunes should rise (or fall) with its pitching staff. “We have more arms this year,” said Grant. “(The starting rotation) all depends on who’s throwing strikes.”
A good candidate for strike thrower is Houston Hensley. At 6’ 5”, Hensley cuts an imposing figure as he lopes toward the mound.
More importantly, Hensley’s fastball is crackling with pop, and some D3 schools are taking notice of the big righty.
Kody Outhong quarterbacked Liberty’s football team to a 9-1 season. Now, he’s using his strong left arm to help out the baseball squad. As in all his endeavors, count on Outhong to show a lot of heart.
Jordan Eubank, who earned a trip to States in wrestling, is another viable pitching option, having been named to the second team All-Seminole squad last year.
Thomas Schacter, a standout on the gridiron at defensive end, will focus on mound duty while a baseballer.
Corey Witt, who is a three-sport jock, brings a good right arm to the mix.
CJ Weeks may well have the strongest arm of any of them. The freshman is focused right now on getting his location right.
“Everyone gets to pitch when you have four games in one week,” said Grant, of the opening week’s slate.
Catching these guys will be Matt Kerr, who was a stellar tight end in football, as well as Cam Morck and Adam Warnalis.
Grant is still looking at position players but likes what he’s seen from Weeks and Tyler Reynolds at shortstop.
Eubank was also named to the Seminole second team as a second baseman, so you know he’s a viable option there this year, as well.
Warnalis and Trevor Cheek split time at third last year, and that seems to be the plan this season.
Hensley looks like the best option at first, with Kerr likely to pick up some innings there, too.
Outhong should anchor the outfield from center. There, his blazing speed should be quite an asset.
Witt also brings a good presence to the outfield and Reynolds also looks comfortable there. Reynolds is a tough kid, having earned a spot to States in wrestling. More germane, he’s swinging the bat well right now.
Other outfielders on the roster include Tyler Witt, who was on the JV last year and Josh Martin, who started a couple of games last season.
Colton Witt, who is also a golfer and wrestler is yet another option for the outfield.
Lastly, you have the wildest of wild cards: Anthony Reynolds.
The All-Seminole first teamer in both football and basketball is taking up baseball after a four-year hiatus. In Liberty’s first game of the year, Anthony Reynolds powered a three-run homer over the wall at Dan River.
In that 13-2 Liberty win, Tyler Reynolds had three hits and four stolen bases. Cheek had a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
A portent of things to come? Either way, it seems like a nice way to kick off a season.