Baseball Strong Preseason Ranking

Being ranked extremely high on many lists, there will be a target on their back this season with big shoes to fill. Head Coach, Fred Hilliard Jr., is confident in his program to succeed this season.

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Ryan Todd, Contributor

Listen to Coach Hillard talk about what this preseason ranking means going forward this spring season. Many publications have ranked Malvern Prep top 50 in the nation, making Malvern the team to beat.

“Well, there are multiple publications, I think one had us 17th, and the other one has us as 23rd, and another 31st. So, in three separate national publications, we are in the top 50,” Hilliard said.

“There’s gonna be a bullseye on our back. It’s nice for the school. We have to give credit to guys that have come before because I think a lot of the rankings for preseason are based on what you’ve done in the past as well as some of the guys on our current roster. We still have a lot of work to do and how you finish is more important than what they say before the season starts,” he continued.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions, Malvern will do their best to play a tough schedule, competing with highly-ranked teams from other states.

“We’re gonna always play the toughest schedule we can, we’re a little limited in that some states can’t play out of state right now. Like we usually play against the top schools in New Jersey, and they can’t play us right now,” Hilliard stated.

“We’re taking on all the best teams in the area in our non-league schedule. The challenging part for us is that our primary focus is always to win the Inter-Ac, even though there’s no crowned champion this year we still are going to play to win,” Hillard said.

Malvern will play as many non-league games as possible. Hilliard believes other programs will take this opportunity to play Malvern very seriously because they’ll have a chance to beat a highly-ranked team.

“When we play in our non-league, it’s like the World Series for them, and we won’t be able to throw our top pitchers against them every time and we’ve still got to find a way to win those games regardless. We will not make excuses because anybody who beats us, it’s a badge of honor for them to go around and say they have beat Malvern,” Hilliard emphasized. 

Hilliard concluded, “They’re not gonna care about the fact that so and so didn’t play or so and so didn’t pitch, so our guys have to basically bring it day in and day out. If they can beat us it’s a ‘crown jewel’ for their programs and we have to be up for that challenge.”