Baseball Team Ready to Defend National Title; Begins Seaon at Home on Feb. 5

When the Richland College baseball team kicks off its season at 1 p.m. on Friday at home against Metropolitan Community College, the defending NJCAA Division III champions will be in familiar territory – ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll.

The T-Ducks, who won their fourth national championship in eight years last season, are coming off a 47-13 campaign.

Joe Wharton’s squad returns three starters and six players from last year’s team, including All-American pitcher Kirk Pritchett, shortstop Chad Kruse and first baseman Garret Henderson.

Pritchett finished last season with a 3.77 ERA while Kruse hit .420 with 40 RBIs and Henderson batted .370, hit seven home runs and had 50 RBIs.