Baseball to open 2009 season in Florida
New England College baseball finished their 2008 campaign with an overall record of 9-26 and a Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) record of 2-20. The nine wins is the most single season wins for the Pilgrims since 1992 as the Pilgrims returned from spring break with a record of 4-3 overall last season. NEC did pick up key conference wins over Anna Maria and Nichols and finished the season with a sweep of in-state rival Plymouth State.
Sixth year head coach Dave DeCew will have a veteran crew returning losing just two seniors from last season’s squad. The Pilgrims will be returning a solid infield including shortstop Scott Miller (Mt. Airy, Md.) Junior Scott Miller was named to the TCCC All-Honorable Mention as a freshman and played in 32 games as a Pilgrim last season finishing with a .935 fielding percentage and hit six doubles and two triples, while scoring 18 runs. Joining Miller in the infield will be senior pitcher/first baseman Dan Pratt (Concord, N.H.) Pratt led the Pilgrims in hitting a season ago finishing hitting a team-best .314. Pratt started 33 of the Pilgrims’ 35 games and finished with a team-high 11 doubles and 28 runs batted in. Also returning in the infield will be third baseman PJ Crowley (Pawcatuck, Conn.) who hit .301 last season and utility player Jimmy Hoyt (Rochester, N.H.) who finished with a team-high 24 runs scored and was perfect on the base paths stealing ten bases last season.
Anchoring the outfield for the Pilgrims will be senior center fielder Joe Clark. Clark (Newcastle, Maine) hit .313 in 35 games for the Pilgrims last season finishing second on the team with 23 runs scored and 23 runs batted in. Joining Clark in the outfield will be senior Kevin Bray (Willow Grove, Pa.) who did not commit an error last season and sophomore John Holtman (Mendon, Vt.) who played in 19 games last season.
The Pilgrims will have a handful of young faces on the mound this season as first-year players Aaron Loring (Rochester, N.H.,) Dean Delvecchio (Durham, Conn.,) Josh Lynch (W. Greenwich, R.I.,) Jon Nelson (Bedford, N.H.) and Taylor Vesey (Goffstown, N.H.) will all see time.
In addition to pitching the Pilgrims will also look to talented group of incoming first-year position players to make an immediate impact. Newcomers Chris Biskup (S. Portland, Maine,) Lucas Burgess (Bath, N.H.,) Bryan Martell (Milford, N.H.) and Matt Shaughnessy (Manchester, N.H.) will all get an opportunity to contribute.
The Pilgrims will open their season on the road taking on Hilbert College Monday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. in Cocoa Beach, Fla.