Thomasville, GA - The vibe around the Thomas University baseball team is much different now than it was a couple of months ago. At that time, the Nighthawks roster was looking pretty thin.
Then, over the break, head coach Mike Lee received one of the best holiday gifts he can recall: the Nighthawks added nine college transfers to the team.
"I'm counting on all of them getting significant playing time," Lee said. "I've got starters in that group. I've got three of my top five starting pitchers in that group and we're excited about what we got over the break."
Those will not be the only newcomers to the AII school (they will be a new addition to the Sun Conference next year). Lee brought in Boo Taylor and Jon Updike to his coaching staff, both acting as assistants.
Taylor spent several years in the major leagues for teams such as the Oakland Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Updike spent seven years in the minors playing for organizations such as the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers.
"Boo Taylor and Coach [Jon] Updike are both great coaches," senior outfielder Chris Cravotta said. "They have great backgrounds and they really know what they're talking about."
"They're doing a good job of developing the talent that we have," Lee said.
The Nighthawks were bounced in last year's conference tournament semifinal game.
"We have an older team, a lot of good position players, a good group of guys - we all mesh really well - and we have a lot of talent. I feel really good about this year," Cravotta said.