Cardinals have Experience and Talent to Challenge for NESCAC Crown in 2012

The 2012 Wesleyan baseball team is inspiring optimism, thanks to a foundation of standout work ethic, combined with leadership and experience. The entire pitching staff returns along with five starters in the field, and will be complemented by an exceptional freshman class.

Wesleyan will spend two weeks on its spring trip in Arizona, playing 15 games, before returning back home to Connecticut with 22 games, plus playoffs. With one of the best strength of schedules in New England, the squad will be tested and challenged while looking to bring home a NESCAC title.

The pitching staff has great balance, consisting of five left-handers and eight right-handers. Brett Yarusi '12 (#26, photo insert upper left, all-NESCAC as a sophomore) and Mike Barsotti '12 (#22, main photo) have been dominant since their freshman year in the front end of the rotation. Derek Lukin '13, a weekend starter as a freshman, returns in force after missing 2011 with an injury. Jimmy Hill '14 led the team in ERA as a freshman while classmate Jeff Blout '14 had a fine 3-2 record in his first year. Chase Levi '14 (third on the team in innings pitched), Chris Law '14, and Michael Migiel-Schwartz '14 are poised for breakout seasons. Freshmen will make key contributions as well, including Nick Cooney '15, Sam Elias '15, Mike DeLalio '15, Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 (also an infielder), and Ben Hoynes '15 (also an outfielder). Grad student Joe Giaimo '11, a starting outfielder, will also be key on the hill.

The Wesleyan offense has led the NESCAC in runs scored the past two seasons, and its focused approach will continue in 2012. Returning first-team all-NESCAC choice Giaimo (#9, photo insert upper right, .357) will continue to be a stalwart in the lineup, while Alex Meadow '12 (#7, photo insert upper middle), Kyle Weiss '12 (#3, photo insert lower left) and David Skura '12 have been essential to the offense since freshman year.
Chris Bonti '13 was fourth on the team in average as a sophomore (.354).

Skura returns from an injury in 2011 to bring his experience behind the plate. Bonti has started since freshman year at either shortstop or catcher and will settle in behind the dish in 2012. Tom Miceli '12 has caught 23 games in his career, while Stefan Sundseth '13 started 14 games as a sophomore.

The Cardinals will return two starting infielders this season in Meadow, a starter at first base since his freshman year, and Weiss, last year's shortstop. Noah Feingold '12 and  Andrew Yin '15 will contend at second base. At third, Goodwin-Boyd will compete with classmate Jonathan Dennett '15 for the starting nod. Jake Skinner '14 is a first baseman as well as designated hitter.

In the outfield, Giaimo brings experience after occupying a starting spot for three years. Donnie Cimino '15 is a centerfielder, while Steve Moran '13, Terence Farina '14, Luca Cobucci '15 and Ben Hoynes '15 will challenge to play in right field.