Baseball strives to sweep games in Arizona

Men’s baseball is seeking to return to the NESCAC tournament this season after finishing third in the West Division for the past two years.kidbase

Williams struggled at times last season, finishing with a 13-16 record. However, the Ephs’ 7-5 NESCAC record and 5-2 finish to close last season gives the team hope heading into its first game this season.

Williams must handle the loss of six graduated seniors, including tri-captain Steve Marino ’14 and tri-captain Matt Kastner ’14. Marino paced the Ephs’ bullpen by starting seven games last season, while Kastner broke the school record for hits in a game with seven in a 20-2 rout of Middlebury.

Co-captains Tom Murphy ’15 and Phil McGovern ’15 will be expected to step up this season, along with the five other seniors on the team. Murphy finished last season with five wins on the mound and a 3.77 ERA and is slated to lead the bullpen again this season. The Ephs will also look to Luke Pierce ’15, who contributed last season with 34 hits, 22 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Eddie Kelly ’15, Dylan Griswold ’15, Kirby Neuner ’15 and Jacob Slater ’15 will also propel the senior class in a bid for their first winning record at Williams.

“McGovern and Murphy have done a great job in the off season with keeping the guys focused,” head coach Bill Barrale said.

Murphy will need help from the rest of the bullpen, which includes Luke Rodino ’17, Arnie Capute ’16, Tyler Duff ’17 and Daniel Smith ’16, who combined to start 10 games last season. Kelly will be a key reliever for the Ephs, while Slater will return as closer after leading the team with a 3.00 ERA last season. Marcus Colella ’17 and Cole Futterman ’17 will also be available as the two left-handed pitchers for the Ephs.

The Ephs will have an experienced supporting cast in the infield, with Nathan Michalski ’17 and Jack Roberts ’17 both playing over twenty games last season.

The Ephs’ outfield will also have two experienced returners in Jack Cloud ’17 and Pierce. The pair also hope to pace the Ephs in batting after leading all returning Ephs in hits, runs and RBIs last season. Cloud’s batting performance in his first season with the Ephs earned him Second Team All-NESCAC honors.

After a cancelled doubleheader against MIT last weekend, the men will have to wait until next week to kick off their season. Williams will travel to Arizona to face Valley City State in their opening game on Sunday. During their road trip, the men will play 10 games in eight days, including a three-game series against conference foe Middlebury. Williams will have its first home game against Wesleyan on April 3 at 4 p.m., before facing Wesleyan again in a doubleheader on the road the following day.