ENC men’s baseball team is 2-6 on the season after their trip to Fort Myers, Fla. for the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.
The baseball team achieved two wins during their trip this season after winning one game in Florida last year.
Their season began on March 2 with a doubleheader against Illinois College. The men won their first game 5-0. The Lions tallied eight hits and five stolen bases in the contest. Sophomore Brandon Wells (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) earned his first career collegiate win, allowing only five hits and striking out seven in 5.2 innings pitched.
The Lions’ first loss came in their second game against Illinois College. Freshman Brad Hampton (South Daytona, Fla.), who won Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for the week ending on March 3, allowed four hits and two runs in a complete game performance, his first career collegiate start. Anthony Berroa (Teaneck, N.J.) recorded two of the Lions’ six hits, but the men were only able to score one run, resulting in a 2-1 loss.
Berroa explained the importance of the team’s annual trip to Florida.
“This season, the first time all spring that we were able to step out on a baseball field was down in Fort Myers. The day after we flew out, we were able to practice on that Friday,” said Berroa.
He added, “Those games count towards our regular season, but at the same time we do not participate in conference play down there, so it is also good preparation for the season to come once we get back to Mass.”
Baseball’s second doubleheader was on March 4 against Newbury College. The first game resulted in a 6-5 loss, but the men won their second game of the season in game two. Matt Jayne (Quincy, Mass.) earned a no-decision after giving up five runs in 5 innings pitched. Spyro Varetimos (North Attleboro, Mass.) earned his first career win after relieving Doug English (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). The Lions won 12-10 and improved to 2-2 in 2013.
The Lions suffered a setback after losing their last four games in Florida. On March 5, ENC lost both games of a doubleheader to Hiram College, 8-1 and 13-5. The same result occurred against John Carroll University on March 7; baseball lost 13-0 and 9-4.
Berroa, Jayne, and Rocco Martinelli (Panama City, Panama) each recorded two hits against Hiram. Against John Carroll, Ryan Garza (Elsa, Texas) was the only player on the Lions to achieve two hits in a single game. He went 2 for 3 with one run scored in the second game.
Berroa explained that he has seen a lot of heart and potential in this team already. He has high hopes for the rest of the season.
“As the season goes, I know that this team is going to shock the conference on what we are capable of. With confidence I see our team at the end of the season competing in the conference playoffs, and fighting hard to show the CCC what we are made of,” said Berroa.
Men’s baseball was selected to finish ninth out of nine teams in the CCC preseason baseball poll.
The Lions take the field again at 4 p.m. on March 14 against Lasell College at Brandeis University. Baseball will play their first home doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m. on March 16 against Rivier College.