Baseball

2014 Edition of Wesleyan Baseball Features Experience and Depth, Giving Rise to a Bright Outlook

The 149th year of Wesleyan Baseball is primed to be another great one, filled with the tradition, rivalries, and great success so often found in the history of the program.
    
Fresh off a thrilling run to the finish of the 2013 season, the 2014 Cardinals will look to repeat as both NESCAC West division champions, as well as winners of the Little Three. The Cardinals return seven starting position players, as well as their top 10 pitching leaders in ERA. With five players named to the 2013 all-NESCAC team, the experience and depth of the team, coupled with its exceptional work ethic, foretell a standout season.
    
Wesleyan’s 2014 schedule will be rigorous, primarily from playing in the one of the most competitive conferences in the nation. The non-conference slate will be strong, while the intense Little Three rivalry with Williams and Amherst is a highlight of the season. The Cardinals will also travel out west to California and Arizona for 13 games on its annual spring trip.
    
The Pitching Staff
The three seniors on the squad lead the way for the pitching staff. The hard-throwing Jeff Blout '14 was named all-NESCAC after leading Wesleyan and the NESCAC with a 2.06 ERA.  He posted victories in all four of his league starts. Chris Law '14 had a 4-1 record with exceptional control as a sophomore, before injuries derailed his junior year. The left-handed Jimmy Hill '14 has pitched in numerous big games over his career, including a clutch save in the 2013 NESCAC tournament.
    
Nick Cooney '15 was the Friday pitcher for the Cardinals in 2013, earning all-NESCAC honors with a team-best six wins, and a 3.05 ERA. Classmate Sam Elias '15 led the team with 19 appearances and was the Cardinals’ go-to relief pitcher, getting out of innumerable jams en route to a 2.94 ERA. Gavin Pittore '16 had a strong start to his career, recording victories against two NESCAC rivals and only allowing opponents to bat .236 against him. Southpaw Kai Kirk '16 went 3-1 with a strikeout an inning last year.
    
Mike DeLalio '15 had a 0.00 ERA as a freshman, while Andrew Hove '15 allowed only two earned runs in 14 innings pitched as a sophomore.
    
The sophomore class also features Peter Rantz '16, whose electric stuff helped him overpower hitters, while classmate sidewinder Wilson Flower '16 went 1-0 with only four walks in 18 innings.
    
Incoming pitchers who will help the Cardinals’ quest this season include Nick Miceli '17, Ethan Rode '17, Mitch Ryan '17, Jake Singer '17, Ryan Welch '17 and Asher Young '17.
    
The Position Players
In centerfield, Donnie Cimino '15 has led the NESCAC in hitting in his first two seasons, and is a two-time all-NESCAC honoree, as well as an all-NESCAC football player and captain. Versatile defender Jon Dennett '15 will anchor left field after tying for the team lead in home runs and recording a strong .340 average.
    
Also competing for time in the outfield will be Matt Sorkin '15, who batted .302 with a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen bases in 2013; Jake Katofsky '16, who served as a key defensive substitution last year; Zach Gandee '15 who returns from injury; Keith Spencer '16, who has a strong bat; and Craig Weinhaus '15, a former infielder. First-year outfielders vying for innings include Nathan Lorentz '17 and Justin Sanchez '17.
    
Second baseman Andrew Yin '15 was named to the prestigious Academic All-America team and the first-team all-NESCAC squad after hitting .381 and leading the team with 11 stolen bases. First baseman Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 was named second-team all-NESCAC for his outstanding defensive play and his team-best .525 slugging percentage.
    
The third-base defense of Ben Hoynes '15 featured numerous outstanding plays, anchoring a great defensive team last season. Shortstop Guy Davidson '16 joined him in an outstanding left side of the infield, while also recording 10 doubles and two triples at the plate.
    
Jordan Farber '16 was a strong hitter last season with a .333 average and is versatile as both an infielder and outfielder. First-year infield candidates who have exceptional potential include Andrew Mehr '17, Will O’Sullivan '17, Ellis Schaefer '17 and Rode.
    
Behind the plate, Eric Jones '16 returns after handling a staff that recorded the third-lowest ERA in the school’s last 35 years. Nick Miceli will supplement his duties on the mound with time as catcher as well.

After its 13-game western swing, which starts in Tucson, Ariz. Sun., March 9, the Cardinals inaugurate the northern slate Sat., March 29 in a double-header at Mitchell.