VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – With baseball season around the corner, three members of the Virginia Wesleyan University baseball team have made the list of Division III Players to Watch in 2018 as written in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Infielders Brandon Kussmaul and Corey King were mentioned on the list as was pitcher Chance Pauley.
Kussmaul had a solid year at the plate in 2017, collecting 51 hits, 20 of which went for extra bags. The junior tacked on 30 RBI on the year and finished the year with a batting average of .311. Kussmaul excelled in the field as well, recording a team-high 130 assists on putouts and also turning 21 double plays. In fact, his work at the shortstop position led Virginia Beach, Va. native to spots on the All-ODAC and All-State Second Teams.
King also had a phenomenal year in the Marlin uniform, recording 53 hits for a batting average of .363. Of those 53, 16 went in as doubles, ranking him 32nd in all of Division III in the category. The Virginia Beach, Va. also was an integral part of the middle infield, notching 123 putouts and turning 17 double plays.
Pauley was one of the squad's top hurlers on the season, making nine starts and throwing 58.1 innings. The righty punched out 27 batters over his time on the rubber, good enough for third-most on the team. Pauley would finish 2017 with an ERA of 3.39.
Baseball sees its first bit of action on Feb. 16 as it travels to Piedmont College to take on the Lions. Coach Chris Francis has his sights set high this season even with one of the hardest schedules in Division III lined up. The team recorded 21 wins last season and earned a trip to the ODAC Championship.