CHESTERTOWN, MD – The 2012 season was one of the most memorable campaigns ever for Washington College baseball as the team set a school record for wins (28) and reached the conference tournament final for the first time in the program's history. After the success of last spring, the bar has been set high and the Washington College baseball team has its sights set on winning its first Centennial Conference Tournament crown. Even though the Shoremen lost some key parts from last year's team, the squad believes it can take the next step.
Assistant coach Ted Hurvul said "With our success last year, we will have a tough time topping that, however with the hard work and dedication during the fall and preseason, I will not be surprised if we exceed our expectations."
Guiding the Shoremen this season will be first-year head coach Travis Turgeon, who takes over for Al Streelman who retired after skippering the team for 15 seasons last year. Turgeon is no stranger to the program as he was a part of Streelman's staff the past two years. He is hoping the guide the team to its third Centennial Conference Tournament in the past four years, as the squad reached the tournament in 2010 and 2012.
At first base, senior Tyler Cotterell (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) will see the bulk of the time. Cotterell had a strong junior campaign as he hit a career-best .333 with 26 runs scored, 41 hits and 29 RBI. In the field, he set school records for putouts (268) and fielding chances (276) in a single season in 2012. Others who could see time at first base are sophomore Dennis Thomas (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley) and junior Lucas DiFabbio (Guilford, CT/Guilford).
Junior Nick Marinelli (Ellicott City, MD/Marriotts Ridge) is the favorite at second base for the 2013 season. Marinelli batted .289 last season with 36 runs and 43 hits and tied the record for at-bats in a single season with 149.
Shortstop will have a new look as the team lost 2012 Centennial Conference Player of the Year Ryan Normoyle, who shattered many Washington College records and earned All-Centennial honors three times, to graduation. Freshman Garrett Richardello (Coventry, CT/East Catholic) will start the season at shortstop. Marinelli could also see time at short for the team this season.
There are three players who will see most of the time at third base in 2013. Senior Joe Willis (Mullica Hill, NJ/Kingsway Regional), sophomore Michael Festa (Newtown, PA/Council Rock North) and freshman Pete Breslauer (Mountain Lakes, NJ/Mountain Lakes) are the trio who will see the most time at the hot corner.
Turgeon said two others who will see time in the infield are junior Liam Aquno (Ellicott City, MD/Howard) and freshman Addison Hanscom (Nashua, NH/Nashua).
Leading the way in the outfield is senior Sean Connole (Mt. Airy, MD/St. John's Catholic) who has patrolled centerfield since arriving at Washington College as a freshman. Connole, a Centennial Conference first team selection last spring after being named to the second team in 2011, batted .371 with a career-high 28 RBI. He scored 37 runs, pounded out 52 hits and stole 13 bases. Connole played last summer for the Cheyenne Grizzlies in the Mountain Collegiate League.
Sophomore Scott Matthews (Goshen, NY/Don Bosco Prep (NJ) will start the 2013 season in right field. Matthews had a strong freshman campaign where he hit .309 with two home runs and 20 RBI. Both of his home runs were grand slams.
There will be a platoon in left field between junior Ian Remington (Guilford, CT/Guilford) and freshman Bryan Baquer (Woodbridge, VA/Osbourn Park). Remington batted .264 last year with 12 RBI, 22 runs scored and 10 steals.
Turgeon said that "outfield is our strongest part, everybody can hit, run and play defense."
Behind the plate, the Shoremen will have a new catcher as four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection John Rolewicz graduated last spring. The two who will see time behind the dish this spring will be sophomore Kyle Mikula (Stafford, VA/Colonial Forge) and freshman Brian Quadrino (Smithtown, NY/Smithtown East). Mikula played in 14 games, earning seven starts last spring behind the plate and hit .304 in 23 at-bats.
On the mound, the Shoremen will need to overcome the loss of three-time all-conference honoree Shane Mattingly to graduation. Senior pitcher Kyle Aldrich (Warren, NJ/Watchung Hills Regional) will be slated as the number one starter. Aldrich had a strong finish to the 2012 season and finished with a 6-2 record with a 3.43 earned run average in 42 innings. Competing for the other spots in the rotation will be senior Joe Kearney-Argow (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape), junior Brian Lewis (Ellicott City, MD/Mount Hebron), sophomore Michael Long (Ellicott City, MD/Centennial) and freshmen Dan Jarrell (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac) and Sam McGovern (Middletown, NJ/Red Bank Catholic). Kearney-Argow started nine games last year and appeared in 11 total games. He went 3-2 with a complete game in 44.2 innings. Lewis was 3-2 in 37.2 innings last year in 11 appearances, seven starts. Long, who pitched in 11 games with seven starts, was a perfect 3-0 with one save in 33 innings.
Also seeing time on the hill as two-way players will be Connole and Breslauer. Another two-way player who was going to have a role on the team was freshman infielder/pitcher Joe Saunders (St. Petersburg, FL/St. Petersburg Catholic), but he will miss the season due to a health issue.
The middle relief consists of four right-handed relievers and two left-handed relievers. The right-handed hurlers are junior Tom Fiala (New Hope, PA/New Hope-Solebury), sophomores Joe DiPaola (Annapolis, MD/Broadneck) and David Kendrick (Ellicott City, MD/Centennial) and freshman Hawkins DuBois (Los Angeles, CA/University H.S.). The two lefty throwers are junior Ben Cameron (Laurel, MD/Reservoir) and freshman John Beck (East Hanover, NJ/Montclair Kimberly Academy).
The team hopes to have junior closer A.J. Schmalfuhs (Morristown, NJ/Morristown) back by the March 30 Centennial Conference opener as he is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Schmalfuhs, last year's Most Improved Player was 2-1 with three saves and a 3.20 ERA, while tossing 25.1 innings in 14 contests. While the squad waits for Schmalfuhs to return, senior CY Daniel Wu (Kowloon, Hong Kong/International Secondary School) and sophomore Sean Baldwin (Stafford, VA/Colonial Forge) will see time as the closers. Wu, who played primarily in the field last season at third base, will be a pitcher this season as he pitched 2.2 innings in a pair of outings last spring. Baldwin threw 7.1 innings last season in six appearances.
The Shoremen Nine open the campaign against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Neumann at home on February 23 at noon at Athey Baseball Park. The squad will play five of its first six games at home and 16 total home contests this spring. Washington will also host 2012 NCAA Tournament squad Salisbury on April 24. The team will travel to the reigning Centennial Conference Champion Haverford on April 20. The Shoremen will also play 13 road games and nine games in Florida during their spring break trip which is from March 9-16. Washington will play teams from Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin along with the District of Columbia this spring.