CARROLLTON, Ga. - With the season opener set for Friday afternoon at Augusta, uwgsports.com takes a look at the outfield for the 2018 baseball season. The Wolves and Jaguars will have the first pitch of the spring season at 3 p.m. on Friday from Augusta.
Leading the outfield is a two-year starter in center field with junior Cade Marlowe. The veteran from Tifton has been a stalwart during his first two years, and has seen time in multiple roles for head coach Skip Fite. As a true freshman, Marlowe hit .400 as the Wolves' regular designated hitter. Last season, he moved to the outfield, hitting .270 as the starter in left field. This year, Marlowe makes another move to center field, and will be the starter in that role on opening day.
"We are very talented in the outfield this year, and Cade is just a very good baseball player," said Fite. "I think he put too much pressure on himself last season, because he is an intense competitor and a perfectionist, but we are better at the plate this year and that will take some of that pressure off of Cade."
One of the top hitters in preseason practice will likely be the starter on opening day in left field in junior transfer Nick Poskey. Originally from Columbus, Poskey transferred from Chattahoochee Valley and Fite credits him as being one of the best hitters and possessing one of the best arms on the team.
In right field, Fite returns a pair of seniors from a year ago, as Bradley Felkel and Christopher Michals have both been playing well in preseason practice. Michals hit .270 last year and Felkel .318 for the Wolves, and both players will give the Wolves a chance to win, as well as providing depth with the other two spots in the outfield.
Depth is strong for the Wolves in the outfield, as Fite can turn to speedy Brady Barnes, who went down early in the season last year with an injury, seeing action in just seven games. Fite also expects to see true freshman Dylan Johnson, who has been impressive during preseason drills, and he had four hits in a scrimmage against West Georgia Tech.
The depth that Fite has in the outfield and at the catcher spot will give plenty of options at designated hitter, but the regular starter early in the year at the DH spot will be sophomore Dalton Gilliam, who hit .302 as a freshman last year, playing both in the outfield and as the DH.