"He's not a hard thrower," Jones said. "He doesn't walk people, which is important. He's one of those guys that you have to make some plays for him, and if you do, he will keep you close."
Behind those three, the Cougars will use a bullpen that is best suited in the field, but will be forced to toss some innings with the limited roster."These guys are better position players," Jones said. "I just have to throw them in to pitch. Our philosophy is don't throw it down the middle, keep it away."
With the rotation's lack of depth, Jones is counting on his ultra-talented defenders to back up whoever may take the mound. When he's not pitching, Powless will take over at third base and Kyle Bray will play first to complete the corners.
In the middle, South Central graduated its short stop and second baseman, so Jones has been intent on finding a capable pair of replacements to fill the void."That was killer," Jones said. "We were all new in the fall up the middle."
Fischer Tharp made the move from outfield to short, and freshman Brett Harmeier took the reins at second. In the outfield, seniors Keith Hoffman and Austin Schwarm will see plenty of action, and the two capitalized on their chances in the fall, helping navigate South Central to the regular season crown.
"They're baseball guys," Jones said. "They work at it."
Rudy Hablewitz returns to the program after not going out during the fall, and could also see playing time in the outfield during his senior campaign.At catcher, senior Drake Ritter is not overly imposing physically, but is another player on Jones' roster that is solid at performing his job.
"The most important thing for me, you got to be able to block balls, he's really good at that," Jones said. "He's not a big stud at 6-2, but he blocks balls. You can't throw one by him."