Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 15 Ola


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

The Georgia High School Association has announced that opening day of the 2020 season will commence on Feb. 10. Programs were allowed to begin practicing in an official capacity on Jan. 13, meaning it's time for the PBR Georgia staff to break down the high school baseball scene in the state in the countdown to the first pitch thrown in 2019.Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2019 spring season, touching on programs spanning multiple state classifications, counting down the official PBR Georgia Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Our Preseason Power 25 rankings coverage starts today.

Team: Ola
Preseason Rank:
15
2019 Record:
29-12
Region: 4-5A 
2019 Region Finish: 1st 
GHSA Classification: 5A
Head Coach: Beau Edwards
Playoff Run: State Runner-up
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 7

KEy Players Lost
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Sterling Richardson GA Ola 2019 LHP/1B Kennesaw State 
Dalton Thomas GA Ola 2019 OF/RHP  
Tyler Richardson GA Ola 2019 RHP  
Carson Barnett GA Ola 2019 C  
Evan Boyle GA Ola 2019 LHP Georgia Tech 
Chaz Salter GA Ola 2019 SS Old Dominion
Cameron Land GA Ola 2019 RHP Southern Union 
TOP Players
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Patrick Holloman GA Ola 2020 LHP/OF Georgia
Baylen Sanders GA Ola 2020 1B  
Jack Witmer GA Ola 2020 OF Georgia Highlands 
Cade Chamlee GA Ola 2020 SS LaGrange 
Will Sims GA Ola 2020 RHP  Andrew 
Caleb Mowery GA Ola 2020 C Lawson State
Garrett Carter GA Ola 2021 MIF  
Top Newcomers
Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Nolan Sliver GA Ola 2022 RHP
Talon Holland GA Ola 2022 RHP
Legend Doggett GA Ola 2021 INF  
Brayden Fordham GA Ola 2022 RHP  
Caleb Fordham GA Ola 2022 RHP  
John MacDonald GA Ola 2022 LHP  
Austin Merritt GA Ola 2022 INF  

X-Factor
The sophomore pitching class will be counted on to step up and fill in the holes left by the five pitcher who graduated this past season. One of the leading candidates to have a breakout season is RHP Nolan Sliver (2022). Sliver impressed our national staff this summer and fall at LakePoint in numerous appearances. The 6-foot-2, 155-pounder is athletically built with a projectable frame. Sliver works at an ultra quick pace, making things uncomfortable for opposing hitters. He worked 81-84, touching 85 in the fall, but given how athletic and loose his arm works and his physicality, there is certainly much more in the tank.

Nolan Sliver

There are also the Fordham brothers, Caleb and Brayden. Caleb had an outstanding fall season where he ran his fastball into the mid-80s and complemented it with a tight, sweeping slider that generated weak contact. Brayden, pitches in the low-80s and utilizes a curveball. Both prospects are similarly built at around 6-foot, 175-pounds, and are not short of athleticism. Although they may be counted on to pitch, they both have potential to impact the lineup with their bats as well.

Caleb Fordham

RHP Talon Holland (2022) and LHP John MacDonald (2022) will also have an opportunity to see time on the mound and help the Mustangs reach another state finals.

Outlook
Ola lost a large portion of their pitching staff to graduation last season, and, as we detailed in the X-Factor, will count on the emergence of a number of sophomore pitchers to step-up. However, they do have staff ace and talented two-way prospect LHP/OF Patrick Holloman (2020; Georgia) back to lead the squad in all facets. The southpaw put together a 6-1 record with an incredible 1.00 ERA, while batting over .300 and seven home runs. One of the top ranked seniors in Georgia, Holloman will have an impact each and every game.

Patrick Holloman

Although they did lose 14 seniors from the state runner-up team, the Mustangs do have experience on the defensive side of things. 1B Baylen Sanders (2020) is back after having an outstanding junior campaign, and will be counted on heavily to repeat his productive season. SS Cade Chamlee (2020; LaGrange) will get the chance to man the middle of the infielder after the graduation of SS Chaz Salter (2019; Old Dominion). Chamlee has always impressed defensively, if he is able to make strides offensively, it will be a great benefit to Ola. 

OF Jack Witmer (2020; Georgia Highlands) and C Caleb Mowery (2020; Lawson State) are also back and will be relied on to have a productive season's at the plate. The Mustangs return enough at the plate and in the field to repeat the success they had last season. The veterans on the roster will lead the team early and guide the younger players. 

The biggest concern for Coach Beau Edwards will be his pitching staff. He does have Holloman back as well as RHP Will Sims (2020; Andrew), but the rest of the staff will have to be filled out by the sophomore class. Regardless, Ola has the right pieces to do so with the talented Sliver, Fordham brothers, Holland, and MacDonald. 

Make sure to follow @PBRGeorgia on Twitter for the most-up-to-date coverage throughout the 2020 season.

Find more information on the 2020 Mustangs below:

+ Full Schedule
+ Team Website
+ Team Twitter

Preseason Power 25 Countdown