This season’s record: 6-6 overall
2012 season: 25-23 record (14-10 PSAC); second in PSAC West. The Knights reached the PSAC conference tournament where they lost to Kutztown University, 5-4, and Slippery Rock University 3-2.
Key Players lost (2012 statistics): OF Michael Brosius, started 42 games, hit .291 while scoring 29 runs; C Evan Baglieri, started all 48 games, hit .298, 38 RBIs were second on team; INF Tim Lipp, started every game, was second on team with .315 batting average, knocked in 31 runs; OF Kyle Harpster, started 39 games while hitting .250; RHP Paul McKenna, 7-5 record, 3.23 ERA, 75 1/3 innings pitched, 57 strikeouts; RHP Landon Wahl, 7-7 record, 3.94 ERA, 64 innings pitched, 36 strikeouts, five saves; LHP Mark Carlozzi, 2-3 record, 6.35 ERA, 28 1/3 innings pitched, 13 strikeouts.
Starting Lineup (2013 statistics through 12 games):
C — Nico Baldelli, senior (.286 batting average, one home run, 4 RBIs)
1B/DH — Jeff Bellanca, sophomore (.303 average, 6 runs)/ Aaron Cox, freshman (.265 average, two home runs, 6 RBIs)
2B — Eric Bradley, senior (.130 average, .943 fielding percentage)
3B — Jared Wiesen, freshman (.440 average, 4 RBIs)
SS — Bob Roach, sophomore (.333 average, 3 runs)/ Mark DeVita, redshirt freshman (.267 average)
LF — Michael Tomko, senior (.306 average, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs)
CF — Dylan Schwegler, senior (.147 average, 6 RBIs)
RF — Shayne Herold, senior (.316 average, 1.000 fielding percentage)
RHP — David Spaeder, junior (1-1 record, 8.31 ERA, 17 1/3 innings pitched, 6 strikeouts)
LHP — Matt Tobin, sophomore (2-0, 3.55, 12 2/3, 7)
RHP — Phil Cacchione, sophomore (0-2, 6.40, 12 2/3, 4)
RHP — Matt Wilwohl, sophomore (0-2, 3.75, 12, 7)
Key Games (opponents’ 2013 Records):
Calfornia University of Pennsylvania (13-3) — Away: April 19; Home: April 21
Slippery Rock (11-4) — Home: May 3; Away: May 4
Mercyhurst (11-7 overall) — Home: April 26; Away: April 27
*All dates are double-headers
The Gannon baseball team will try to build on a historic 2012 season, in which the Knights achieved their first winning record since 1985 and reached postseason play for the first time since 1970.
So far this season, Gannon has broken even, going 6-6 at the Russ-Matt Invitational at Winter Haven, Fla., earlier this month.
Coach Nate Cocolin said his team had to shake off rust in Florida.
“We got off to a slow start, but have since showed signs of improvement,” Cocolin said. “It’s always hard for us having to practice in the gym, in the gym, in the gym and then go out on the field.”
Since then, the Knights, who open PSAC play with a road double-header at Clarion Friday, have had two non-conference doubleheaders postponed due to bad weather.
The Knights have stuggled at the plate this season. Gannon ranks 10th out of 14 teams with a .280 team batting average.
Gannon has received valuable contributions from underclassmen. Sophomores Jeff Bellanca and Bob Roach are hitting over .300, while freshman Jared Wiesen leads the team in hitting, having gone 11-for-25.
The rotation also received somewhat of a face-lift this season after the losing its ace, Paul McKenna, to graduation. The Knights return experienced starters Matt Tobin and David Spaeder as well as Phil Cacchoine, who worked mostly out of the bullpen.
After the Knights got a taste of the postseason last year, Cocolin said the team wants to replicate its performance.
“I think we have to go back to the playoffs again this season,” he said. “We have to get off to a good start in the PSAC and be consistent.”