Under fourth year Head Coach Evan O’Meara, the Lancer Baseball program has amassed a 35-88 record.This year may be a different story, as the team returns key offensive starters and a group of transfer students full of potential.

“This is the best baseball team I’ve had since I’ve been here,” O’Meara said.

The Lancers return their top four hitters for average from last year including outfielder Brian Ledeira, who led the team with a .341 average last year.

The heart of the lineup will include first baseman Lee Pope, outfielder Matt Paul and Adrian Martinez, a transfer student from Citrus College.

O’Meara has high hopes for Pope’s future prospects, “He is going to be gargantuan at the next level.”

Martinez also has potential to move on after this season. “Martinez might be the most powerful pure hitter I’ve coached,” O’Meara said.

Although they have many weapons on offense returning, the pitching staff may be the biggest question mark for the 2008 season.

The Lancers had a team ERA of 6.69 last year, and lost Jose Barajas, their leader in ERA from last season. This year the Lancers will turn to sophomore Eisen Castro to be their most reliable starter. Castro had a record of 0-3 last year, with an ERA of 7.88 in five starts.

Another notable pitcher will be left handed reliever Trent Williams. Despite and ERA of 15.26 in 11 appearances last year, O’Meara has high aspirations for Williams. “When he’s on he’s tremendous” O’Meara said. “Williams is a potential pro prospect.”

Other potential impact players include freshman infielder Justin Zialcita, who played on the Philippines Junior National team, San Francisco State transfer Tim Sunderland and Cal Lutheran transfer Mike Frisina.

With all of the incoming athletes and those returning O’Meara is happy with his team. “They’re responding well.” O’Meara said. “We’re rowing the boat in the right direction.”

The Lancers open their season on Jan. 26, against Chabot in the Bash at the Beach Tournament in Ventura and have their home opener on Feb. 7 against L.A. Mission at Brookside Park’s Jackie Robinson Field.

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