Southwest Tennessee Community College

February 10, 2004

For more information, contact: Keith Gentry at (901) 333-4114 or Kimberly Stark at (901) 333-4023

SOUTHWEST OPENS 2004 BASEBALL SEASON

The Southwest Tennessee Community College baseball team will open the 2004 season Friday when the Saluqis take on Bevill State Community College of Fayette, Ala., in a noon doubleheader at Tony Gagliano Memorial Field.

"Our players have been working hard to get ready for Friday,” said Johnny Ray, who is making his head-coaching debut after serving Southwest as an associate head coach and pitching coach for the past four years. “We have a chance to be pretty good if we play as a team and do the little things that we work on every day. Bevill State will be a good test for us. They are a very talented team that went to the Division 2 World Series last year.”

The Saluqis return 10 players off last year’s 32-24 squad, including second all-conference catcher Nick Smith, who batted .337 as a freshman and led the team with nine home runs and 54 runs batted in. Also returning are several members of the pitching staff, including right-hander Jamie Carrico, who led the team with six wins and 64 strikeouts as a freshman. Other pitchers returning for 2004 are right-handed starters Charlie Ligon and Michael Steele, and closers Josh Meeker and Drew Buford. Position players back this year for the Saluqis are shortstop Dustin Shields, who started as a freshman, third baseman Chris Hebert, first baseman Casey Cunningham, and outfielder Tyler Lee.

Southwest, Tennessee’s largest two-year college, serves more than 12,000 students in Memphis, Shelby and Fayette counties, and the Tri-State area.

Southwest offers 39 programs for career studies and transfer, 37 two-year programs leading to immediate career entry through the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, and more than 40 areas of interest in traditional university transfer programs through the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree.

In addition, Southwest offers Academic Certificate and Technical Certificate programs in 28 areas. Technical certificates are usually completed in no more than one year and prepare students for immediate-entry positions in high-demand, specialized fields.

Southwest, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.