Young Saint Baseball Team Awaits Florida Openers
St. Lawrence University's 2010 baseball team heads into the start of its season short on veterans, but with the potential to be a solid contender for Liberty League honors.
The Saints, who will open a 40-game regular season schedule with Olivet at Fort Meyers, FL on March 6, have just four seniors on the roster and have 14 sophomores and freshmen who will contend for regular playing time.
"This is a younger team than we have had in a few years, but we have a solid group of first year guys who should get to play a little," said veteran coach Tom Fay, who should pick up his 500th career win early in the upcoming campaign. "We have some talent on the pitching staff and we're very solid at catcher. We have added a couple of players who will allow us to move some people around and make us a stronger team."
Seniors Sean Voss and Zach Slater return for their fourth year as members of the Saint pitching staff and are coming off solid junior seasons. Voss was 2-3 with a save in eight appearances and had a 4.04 earned run average, while Slater was 2-1 in 13 appearances with a save and had a 5.34 earned run average in 33.2 innings of work. Junior Chris Cook went 4-3 and led the team in innings with 54.1. Cook posted a 3.48 earned run average and had 48 strikeouts and 16 walks.
Sophomore Kyle Donaldson was 1-0 with a save in 13 innings of relief work last season while Matt Landers has battled injuries over his first two seasons and joins sophomores Jason Conde and Pat Considine as returning pitchers. Senior Ryan Duff has also seen some pitching action during his career and could see action in relief. Newcomers Paul Piatelli and Colin Tessier-Kay are two promising rookie candidates to join the rotation or pitch in relief.
Duff, a three-time all Liberty League selection and a .352 career hitter through his first three seasons will return at third base after earning first team all league honors at that slot last season and hitting .402 with 28 runs scored and 21 driven in. Duff was also 11 for 13 in stolen bases and struck out just 10 times in 112 at bats as a junior.
Brian Brennan, who played all 35 games at shortstop for the Saints last season and hit .331 with 41 runs scored and 14 runs driven in is likely to move to his natural position of second base as a sophomore with rookies Ethan Braddock and Piatelli battling it out for the starting shortstop position. Rob Carman, a sophomore who played in 25 games a year ago, Voss, who played in 17 games in the field and rookie Jeff Kott will be in the mix at first base.
Junior Garrett Fitzgerald, a .287 hitter with 14 runs scored and 31 runs driven in and sophomore Taylor Engle, who played in 25 games a year ago, will contend for the starting spot in left field while Tim Harris moves from second base after an outstanding junior season in which he hit .381, scored 32 runs, drove in 23 with a .659 slugging percentage and was six-for-six in steals and is the likely starter in right. Rookie Carter Franz is penciled in as a potential starter in center field with Conde and Considine also in the outfield mix when not pitching.
Juniors Kirk Shimkin, who hit .303 in 14 games and Ryan Fedo, who hit .306 in 15 games return with catching experience and the Saints add a couple of strong rookie candidates in Matt D'Auteuil and Matt DeLuca who will push for playing time.
Franz and Kott will also back up Duff at third and Kott could also catch while sophomore Tom Pasquali is another returnee with infield experience.