The Fort Hays State baseball team opens the 55th season in program history this weekend when the Tigers host MSU Denver for the first series of 2020. Opening Day is set for Friday, January 31, with the first pitch of the year slated for 3 p.m. The series will continue with a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday before a noon finale on Sunday.
Head coach Jerod Goodale and his coaching staff were busy during the offseason, bringing in 28 new players for the 2020 roster. The new class of 19 transfers and nine true freshman joins eight players returning from last season, including Ethan Booe, Ryan Brown, Jared Maneth, Tyler Olson, Ryan Ruder, Jake Steinbring, Ryan Stoecklein and Cole Zimmerman. The Tigers will sport a relatively young roster this season, made up of six seniors, 14 juniors, seven sophomores and nine freshmen.
Seniors for the Tigers in 2020 include Ryan Brown, Jared Maneth, Tyler Olson, Ryan Ruder, Garrett Stephens and Ryan Stoecklein.
The Tigers hold a 54-35 lead in the all-time series against their former RMAC conference rival, including a 26-16 advantage in games played in Hays.
The teams last met in the opening series of the 2013 season, with the Tigers taking two of three games in Denver. MSU Denver has not made the trip to Hays in 10 years, when FHSU completed a two-game sweep early in the 2010 season.
After a 28-24 record in 2019, the Roadrunners were picked to finish fifth according to the 2020 RMAC Baseball Preseason Poll. They are led by a pair of preseason NCBWA All-South Central Region honorees, including first team utilityman Logan Soole and second team outfielder Chase Anderson.