Baaeball Looks to Move Up in Little East

Baaeball Looks to Move Up in Little East

March 11, 2010

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's baseball team is looking to move up in the Little East Conference this spring. UMass Dartmouth will start their 2010 season when play Northland Saturday on the first game of their spring trip to Winter Haven, FL.

The Corsairs, who tied for fifth in the LEC last season and lost to Keene State in the first round of the playoffs, are hoping for better results. "I think we're going to be a lot better," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Curran. "We should be better defensively in the infield, our pitching should be better, and we are swinging the bats better. We got better offensively last year as the season went on, and it seems to be carrying over."

A blend of returning players and newcomers could make the infield solid. "At third base, we have two newcomers, (sophomore) John Granahan (Hanover, MA/Hanover HS/Southern Maine) and (freshman) Matt Worden (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS)," said Curran. "Our shortstop, (junior) Ryan McDermott (Pembroke, MA/Pembroke HS) is a year older, as is our second baseman, (sophomore) Dan DeMello (Taunton, MA/Taunton HS), and they worked together last year. Worden also plays first base, and he, (junior) Anthony Fiorita (North Reading, MA/St. John's Prep) and freshman Mike St. Martin (Worcester, MA/Doherty HS) will see action there.

Returning seniors Tom LaDore (Milford, CT/Foran HS) and Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) will be counted on in the outfield. "Jeff Macchi and Tom LaDore will anchor the outfield," said Curran. "We will also use (freshmen) Nick Fuller (Acushnet, MA/New Bedford HS) and Mike St. Martin, as well as (junior) Brian Pedrotti (Dalton, MA/Wahconah Regional HS) and (sophomore) Steve Lajoie (Gardner, MA/Gardner HS/Dean College).

The Corsairs will return their top two catchers. (Juniors) Matt Ryan (Uxbridge, MA/Uxbridge HS) and Zak Talis (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield HS) will be expected to carry the load. "Matt and Zak will share the catching job," said Curran. "Backing them up will be (freshman) Sean Vieira (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS), who is strong defensively."

A blend of returning veterans and talented newcomers should give the pitching staff more depth than they have had recently. "We'll have seven pitchers ready to start on our trip to Florida," said Curran. :They will include (senior) Adam Gustafson (Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS), (juniors) Chris Contre (East Bridgewater, MA/East Bridgewater HS) and Shane Campbell (Marlboro, MA/Marlboro HS), and freshmen Karney Boff (Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS), Aaron Brunette (North Andover, MA/North Andover HS), Nick Fuller and Mike St. Martin. The bullpen will be anchored by Brian Pedrotti, (junior) Kyle Merrill (Dennis, MA/ Dennis-Yarmouth HS) and (sophomore) Pat Lavey (Cranston, RI/Cranston East HS). "We moved some people around when we got our new people," said Curran.

With an influx of new talent, the Corsairs hope to move up and challenge the leaders in the LEC. "We will be looking to win right out of the box," said Curran. "We've prepared hard, but, in the last two years, we were so young that we would find ways to lose. Hopefully, with the experience we have gained and being able to beat some of the top teams on our schedule last year, it will carry over and we'll be successful."