The Gold Standard
Fort Knox, KY | March 30, 2018
Fort Knox coach Sam Wilson is used to rebuilding projects, but this season might be one of his toughest challenges.
The Eagles are coming off a 4-17 campaign. They only have one senior — Kaylon Luster — and three juniors on the roster this season.
“This is the youngest team I’ve had in my five years coaching Fort Knox baseball,” Wilson said. “So the only strong points at this time is the leadership of Tyler Follett and Abdiel Santana.”
Follett and Santana both are sophomores and two of the team’s three returning starters. Follett returns at shortstop and Santana is back at second base.
The only other returning starter is sophomore Jacob Dukavas, who is back at first base.
Freshman Kaden Lipke will step in at third base and junior Juddie Beauchamp will start behind the plate.
Freshman Jonathan Farrow will man center field. He will be flanked by junior Rami Denton in left and freshman Manuel Marrero in right.
“Too many inexperienced young players at each position,” Wilson said about the team’s defense.
Follett will likely be the workhorse for the Eagles. Lipke, Santana, junior Dakota Moran and freshmen Andrew Huber and Jonathan Farrow will also see time on the mound.
“Another area of work in process,” Wilson said of the pitching staff. “Tyler Follett (is the) only pitcher with varsity experience at pitching.”
The Eagles scored 121 runs last season, but Wilson said it will be difficult to generate offense this season with so much inexperience in the lineup.
“Not looking at scoring many runs, so we must take advantage of every opportunity,” Wilson said.
Fort Knox has won 26 games during Wilson’s tenure, including going 11-17 in 2015. But this season, Wilson believes the Eagles might struggle because of so many new faces in the lineup.
Wilson’s focus is on little goals that are achievable for the Eagles this season.
“We’re vanilla at positions so all areas needs improvement,” Wilson said. “To teach the young kids baseball fundamentals and be competitive in each game is my goal.”