2015 Baseball Season Preview

Blake Thompson
Blake Thompson

There will be plenty of familiar faces in the dugout as Coast Guard returns all but three players from last year's team which went 13-22 overall and 8-9 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

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The young Bears team stumbled down the stretch last season going just 4-10 in the final 14 games, losing six of their final eight games including four straight to end the season.

Coast Guard did however suffer nine one-run losses in 2014 including six one-run losses in conference play something they must improve on to be successful this season.

"We missed the conference tournament by one game a year ago and six of our nine losses in the NEWMAC were by one run," said Grant. "That is something that we will need to improve upon to get a berth in the conference tournament at the end of the season."

Head coach C.C. Grant, in his 9th season, returns seven everyday starters as well as all but one pitcher from last year's team.

Junior shortstop Mark Behne, who led the Bears with a .324 average and nine stolen bases will be back along with senior tri-captain second baseman Matt Hanks (.265) to solidifty the middle infield.

Junior first baseman Cory Sonnega (.287) and junior third baseman Kyle Wood (.271) will once again start at the corner infield spots.

Sophomore corner infielder Tim Duncan, who missed last season with an injury, is back and give the Bears depth at both first and third base as well as designated hitter while freshman Zach Serna will also see time at third base.

Freshman Alex Murdoch will step in right away and handle the catching duties while classmate Christian Toscano will also see time behind the plate.

Senior tri-captain Blake Thompson (.266) returns in centerfield while junior Ed Lazowski (.261), sophomore Kyle Jackson (.223) and sophomore Brendan McNeil (.284) will all see time at the corner outfield spots or can DH for the Bears.

"We return seven starters and seven of our top eight hitters from last season and these guys will be counted on to produce for us day in and day out," said Grant.

Coast Guard returns four starting pitchers and three top relievers from a year ago as well as adding a pair of quality starting pitchers for the season.

Senior tri-captain Andrew Lucak (2-2, 4.98), along with a trio of sophomores, lefty Colton Cannon (3-4, 4.63), Eric Vrissis (1-2, 4.85) and Luke Sniatkowski (2-2, 5.36) all return to the Bears starting rotation and will be joined by freshmen Cody Bain and Joe Siciliano, who will bolster a pitching staff that got plenty of experience last season.

Lucak led the staff with ten starts and a pair of complete games last season while Sniatkowski led the Bears with 36 strikeouts while opponents hit just .231 off of him.

Thompson (1-2, 4.22), junior Kyle Wood (1-2, 2.89) and sophomore Justin Rebholz (0-3, 2.57) will give Grant plenty of options out of the bullpen.

Rebholz led the Bears with three saves and held opponents to a .220 batting average in 15 relief appearances.

"We have three young guys who pitched well for us last year as freshmen and I expect them to continue to improve," said Grant. "We also add a pair of talented freshmen which gives us plenty of depth in the starting rotation heading into the season. The key for us will be trying to figure out who will be our starting pitchers when conference play begins."

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