Zac Vierra – Co-Editor-in-Chief
After a promising 21-15 season in 2011, the Lasell baseball team struggled in the 2012 campaign going 11-25. This season, the third under head coach Greg Harjula, the squad looks to rebound with a youthful team consisting of 20 underclassmen.
In the past the team has started its regular season with a weeklong trip down to Florida. This year due to spring break being pushed back to the third week in March, the Lasers planned on starting with three games at their home field at Brandeis University on March 12-14, but due to weather conditions those games were postponed. Instead the Lasers will open the season in Fort Myers with a double-header against Plymouth State on St. Patrick’s Day.
To prepare for the season the team has trained in the Athletic Center, on Grellier Field, and at batting cages since early January and because of this the team hasn’t seen much game-like action. Harjula believes this has the greatest effect on the hitters.
“The hardest thing for us is to get the guys ready for hitting offensively,” said Harjula. “We do that at the cages. It’s better than nothing but it’s not the same atmosphere.”
The team will only consist of three seniors, Jake Salkovitz, Mike Rodriguez, and Bobby Statchura along with six juniors.
Luckily a majority of the 10 sophomores got ample playing time in 2012
“You can see the growth and the maturity and the confidence that [the sophomores] have. The game speeds up a lot once you get to college and you see that with freshmen. So we are hoping that those sophomores that got a lot of playing time last year that a lot of them are going to have very big roles,” said Harjula.
When the team heads to Florida this spring break they will play 10 games in six days. For this reason many of the pitchers have been stretched out so they can make starts early in the season. But Harjula’s main rotation will consist of sophomore Kevin Post (1-5 5.87 ERA in 30.2 IP), sophomore Matti Doxter (2-2 6.31 ERA in 25.2 IP), junior Brendan Jordan (1-2 7.96 ERA in 26 IP), sophomore Greg Sherman (1-1 10.88 ERA in 24.0 IP), and junior Eric Howard (0-1 16.62 ERA in 4.1 IP).
In the field, the only two starters written in stone are third baseman Stachura, who hit .284 30 RBI in 36 games, and junior captain Billy Uberti, who hit .377 21 RBI in 26 games and will play first.
In the rest of the infield junior transfer Dustin Brown and Salkovitz will spend time at second base while junior Corey Michel and freshman Dan Gagnon will platoon at shortstop.
“They are all very talented I wouldn’t say interchangeable but depending on what we are looking for in a certain game we can put any of those guys in,” said Harjula.
Sophomores Jackson Gervais and Matt Sammarco, along with freshman Skylar Beckerman and transfer Bobby Ellard will battle for roles in the outfield.
With the mix of youth and uncertainty at certain positions it is difficult for Harjula to predict how the season will go for the Lasers, who were ranked sixth in the Greater Northeast Athletic Conference pre-season poll.
“This is the hardest year for me to say how we are going to be. Usually you can say it’s good [or] it’s bad, [this year]. I don’t know. It’s going to be wide open,” said Harjula.