Despite enduring what TBC head baseball coach Jon Copeland said is the most injury-plagued season he has experienced in his 25+ years of coaching, Eagles Baseball — once again — set new records for overall wins (for the fourth straight year), team ERA, team OBA, and BB/K ratio both offensively and defensively. For their efforts, TBC was able to place four players onto a very competitive 2018 NCCAA Baseball All-South Region team, populated mostly with NCAA Div. II and NAIA players.
Copeland’s assessment of the 2018 season focused on the tenacity of this season’s squad. “We had a group of players that had to overcome much more than any other team I have ever coached,” he stated. “They had three former players, two vital position starters, and a weekend starting pitcher, whom they were counting on, who did not return to help them. They had to deal with multiple injuries, some quite serious, that impacted them from the beginning to the end of the season. I was not able to fill-out a lineup card once this season with what I consider to be my true starting lineup.
“By the end of the regular season, we typically have eight to nine players with at least 100 at-bats; this season, we had four. We typically have 3 or 4 pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched; this season, we had one. That illustrates just how unique this 2018 season was for us; and considering what these 2018 Eagles had to overcome, what they were able to accomplish is mind-boggling. Just the fact that they were able to set, for the fourth year in a row, a new record for wins, and compete in a postseason regional, is astonishing.”
Coach Copeland continued: “College baseball in Florida is some of the best in the country; we have the top NAIA conference and one of the top NCAA Div. II conferences. We are not able to fill-up our regular season schedule with weak teams like many other NCCAA programs in other parts of the country are able to do. The closest NCCAA team for us is seven hours away. Week in and week out we are battling with quality baseball teams, so to put up the numbers that we did this season is really something.
“Our program’s first group of seniors led the way in helping to set new marks for team ERA (4.76) and team OBA (.366) while our pitchers struck out more (223) and walked fewer (127) batters on the mound and our hitters drew more (156) walks and struck out less (219) at the plate.”
TBC was also able to place four players onto the 2018 NCCAA Baseball All-South Region team.
Jonathan Shiver (Sr., Middleburg, FL), for a remarkable fourth year in a row, was a First-Team selection.
Jonathan batted .333, and was tied for a team-leading 22 RBI’s while swiping 15 bases. He also led the Eagles in ERA with a minuscule 1.86, wins with 5, and K’s with 51 in 38 innings on the mound. Considering that he was not at 100% for a significant portion of the season, his numbers are stellar.
Uriah Brewer (So., Fernandina Beach, FL) was also a First-Team selection.
Uriah was second on the team in ERA (3.56), wins (4), and innings (48). In only his second collegiate season, he collected some quality wins against NAIA squads such as Florida Memorial and Montreat College.
Both Nick Mackedon (Fr., Orlando, FL) and Michael Cohick (Sr., Ft. Lauderdale, FL) were both named All-Region Honorable Mention. Mackedon led the Eagles in hitting (.342) while clubbing 6 doubles and knocking in 16 runs. He also picked up 2 saves and 1 win on the mound.
Cohick led TBC in innings (72) while fanning 37 batters and tossing 3 wins on the mound.
One of the results of a season with so many injuries is that a core of returning players will bring back a lot more experience than they normally would have had, and this bodes very well for the 2019 TBC Eagles baseball squad.