So, I'll try to give another crack at it for 2014...
Batting 1st: Michael Bianco (Center Field / Infielder) - he'll make the transition from a starting infielder to Center Field to replace Aundrel Turner - who was arguably the best outfielder since the 2005 State Championship run. He played the position during summer ball so he has experience now in that position. I had Bianco starting at the leadoff spot last year but his bat did not come around until the playoffs. His skill set at the plate and obvious knowledge of the game because of his family ties that let's him bat here.
Batting 2nd: Matthew Guyton (2nd Base / Shortstop) - He will be where Bianco started most of the year, he did not bat nor fielded well last year to last long in the starting lineup when he was on it. Oxford will need a new second basemen - Brooks Krouse is an option but not preferred. He doesn't have that bad of a bat, but if he doesn't do well this year, there are several other players wanting to take this position - Houston Roth, because he is needed as a pitcher this year, could fill this spot (although bat different in the order) if given the chance. Guyton went 3-for-5 with 4 RBI in the Jamboree against Amory.
Batting 3rd: Jack McClure (Catcher) - He will replace Henry Webb in the field as the every-game starter behind the plate. McClure's stats last year batting in the 5-hole were very similar to that of Webb's. He is also one of the two power-hitters on the team that can knock it out of any park at any given at-bat. Like Webb though, there has been the thought of putting McClure at lead-off (I did anyways), but this would be the preferred spot in the lineup. It is possible to see him on the mound as McClure did pitch during the summer.
Batting 4th: Hunter Roth (3rd Base / Pitcher) - Roth has been accustomed to this position by now and did well especially late in the year. He'll start at 3rd when he is not pitching. He is the No. 2 pitcher (again) on the staff and seemingly been stuck in the same spot in the lineup and in the pitching rotation thanks to the rise of Ole Miss commit Jason Barber. He had more plate appearances with runners in scoring position last year than not. A big reason why he bats here and led the team in RBI's.
Batting 5th: Jason Barber (Pitcher / 3rd Base / 2nd Base / Designated Hitter) - The Ace pitcher on the squad - and he's just a sophomore, and it is just not fair. His fastball is nearing 90 MPH. His bat wasn't bad either, the second leading hitter on the team behind William Elliott last year. He did lead the team in strikeouts which is his one flaw at the plate and one of the main reasons he is batting here and not 3rd. If Hunter Roth and Barber aren't pitching, they can't share 3rd Base. Barber would likely move to second if another pitcher were to make their trip to the mound (i.e. Houston Roth, Pittman Phillips) or he could DH and put Lamar out on the field and Bianco back to 2nd Base if he and Roth doesn't pitch to start the game.
Batting 6th: Brooks Krouse (Left Field) - He did bat second last year after earning a spot in the lineup after not starting on opening day at all and was kept there almost out of comfort and rhythm. Guyton's bat is coming around and was the 2nd hitter to start the year and I see him being there this time around. Krouse swings the bat very often to where he led the team in reaching base through an error by the opposing team.
Batting 7th: Chadwick Lamar (Designated Hitter / Outfielder) - Unlike last year where he was being DH'ed for to start the year, he is now DH'ing for someone else. His bat got hotter right before region play and stayed at the DH position ever since. He was DH'ing for Pittman Phillips or Bianco for the majority part of the season last year based on which bat was hotter at the time. If he plays defensively, find him in outfield playing any one of the three spots.
Batting 8th: Tyler Jackson (Right Field) - Jackson will finally get his chance to start when the season begins. He had probably the best summer of any Oxford player had last year with a hot bat and with an average well above .500. He will take over the position where Elliott played last year. This plug-in here will either work like a charm (and rise himself up in the batting order) or work into oblivion and drop completely out of the lineup.
Batting 9th: Pittman Phillips (Shortstop / 2nd Base) - Phillips is the best defensive player Oxford has in the field and they cannot afford to lose him defensively. His bat is still a problem like last year, but has shown strokes of getting hot. He is also an option on the mound when they need him - led the team last year with a flat 1.00 ERA - that is assuming his shoulder problem has been solved.
Other Players to watch for:
Houston Roth (Pitcher / 2nd Base) - He WILL play this year as he is the team's viable No. 3 pitcher on the team. He is likely to start maybe a couple of region games if the chips fall where they may. Last year, Oxford used a 3-pitcher rotation during region play, and it helped keep New Hope off balanced when they saw his brother Hunter Roth late in the year - the only pitcher they didn't see in the other two meetings. It's possible he could play 2nd Base and bat if Guyton isn't able to do the job.
Drew Phillips (1st Base / Pitcher) - He is the likely candidate to replace McClure at first base (like he was in position to be last year when Parker Adamson quit the team) as McClure moves from 1st Base to behind the plate. If the chance arises, he could bat in the lineup or do mop-up pitching duty as he did during the summer. If he is able to hold his spot at first base, he would start there but be DH'ed for. The chance could arise of course if a player slips batting to get into the lineup.
Ben Bianco (Catcher) - He could see playing time and give McClure a break during weekends when Oxford plays non-region opponents or during Spring Break. A gifted freshmen that will fight later on for a spot in the starting lineup when the dust clears next year that will see 6 of the probable 9 starting seniors graduate. McClure would play first base if Bianco plays and start at catcher.
The lineup listed is the ideal lineup with Oxford's No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers on the mound. If Houston Roth were to start on the mound, the lineup will shift and a bunch of position changes may occur. Injuries to Hunter Roth and Pittman Phillips have limited where they can go and what they can do right now. Roth can play third but hasn't been able to be well enough to pitch yet and will be a game-time decision come this Saturday. Pittman is well enough to play 2nd Base if needed and shift Guyton over to Shortstop for the time being.
Oxford lost two really experienced outfielders last year and it is where they will hurt the most. No one can replace the job Aundrel Turner did in Center Field last year with his speed on his feet, the throwing speed of the ball, and the searingly good accuracy when trying to throw out opponents. William Elliott is another who turned into a sure-fire out on any fly ball hit to him. Experience in the outfield is what Oxford really loses out there. Michael Bianco and Jackson are good in their own rights, but it is just hard to completely replace what we saw last year. Krouse returns in Left Field. Oxford does have four players that could play outfield.
The infield - while everyone that played those four main positions returns - will be shuffled. McClure is the obvious choice to go behind the plate after Henry Webb graduated - which means someone will have to replace first base. Michael Bianco is moving to Center Field, which means someone will have to replace 2nd Base. Guyton will get another shot at 2nd Base if Pittman is well enough to play Shortstop and Drew Phillips gets another shot to play first base. If those two don't do well like last year, something will have to change. If Ben Bianco rises up and manages to sneak into the lineup, he may play Catcher and McClure although first option at Catcher may have to manage first base again like last year. A number of players could be a plug-in and play 2nd including those I've listed earlier.
Oxford's schedule is set up with a number of neutral games being played in a Tournament setting - with only two of the first seven games being true road games, followed by Oxford's annual Spring Break Tournament. Back-to-back Lafayette games set up to mimic Oxford's region schedule (play the same team at one place Tuesday then at the other place Friday), and then region play.