WATERVILLE, Maine – With just five seniors on the squad, the Colby College baseball team will have a new look on the field after losing some experienced players from a year ago.
The Mules, under head coach Dale Plummer, open the season March 18th in Fort Myers, Fla., starting with Saturday’s 3 p.m. game vs. St. Lawrence.
A pair of seniors, Andrew Della Volpe (Concord, Mass.) and Noah Tocci (Weston, Mass.), are co-captains for the Mules. Della Volpe (pictured right) started 20 games in 2016 behind the plate and had a solid .972 fielding percentage in 144 chances. Tocci (pictured below) played in nine games, had three outfield starts while not making an error and hitting .267. Tocci will mostly be used as a designated hitter and offensive replacement.
All players will be relied upon to lead this year’s talented group especially after the Mules lost nine experienced seniors, including All-NESCAC First Team selection and Colby’s all-time strikeout Leader, Soren Hanson, along with All-NESCAC Second Team third baseman Zach Ellenthal.
While Hanson will be a major loss as the ace of the staff, right-hander Brooks Parker (Weston, Mass.) returns after starting seven games and finishing third on the team in earned run average. Dan Schoenfeld (Evanston, Ill.), another right-handed thrower and the ace out of the bullpen, had the most appearances (14) and had a 2-1 record while pitching all innings in relief.
Sophomore right-hander Will Cohen (Wellesley, Mass.) made four starts last season and had a pair of victories. Junior righty Bobby Forese (New Canaan, Conn.) was third in appearances (10), had two starts, and was second on the Mules behind Hanson in opponent batting average (.257). Junior righty Matt Garcia (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) had three starts among his seven appearances.
Junior John Baron (Medfield, Mass.), sophomore Jackson Ward (Wilton, Conn.), had minimal appearances in relief, but will be counted on more heavily this season. Sophomore Andrew Sterup (Billings, Mont.) will also add depth to the bullpen.
First-year pitchers Emery Dinsmore (Waldo, Maine), Taimu Ito (Tenafly, N.J.), Matt Reasor (Clarksville, Tenn.), Will Phillips (East Media, Pa.), and Alexander Wieder (Bronxville, N.Y.) will look to make an impact. Dinsmore is the lone left-hander of the new pitchers and is expected to get a start in Florida along with Ito.
Colby will have the most depth in the outfield, with the return of senior Ryder Arsenault (New Hampton, N.H.) after missing last year due to injury. Arsenault hit .327 and stole 20 bases as a sophomore. The Mules only had 25 stolen bases all of last season. Arsenault also did not make an error in center field in more than 60 chances.
The Mules will have a good defensive outfield. With Arsenault out, sophomore Ryan Quinn (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) did not make an error in 65 chances as Colby’s center fielder last year. Arsenault will move back in the middle and Quinn slides over to left field. Matt Treveloni (Ashland, Mass.) takes over in right field and will be the team’s leadoff hitter.
Phillips and Forese will both see time in the outfield and could be defensive replacements if needed. Senior Conor Bruen (Orinda, Calif.) and first-year Jr. Ben Coleman could also play in the outfield and will be used as offensive assets.
While the outfield is experienced, the Mules lost all four starters from last year’s infield. Colby will have depth on the corners.
Freshmen William Wessman (Dallas, Texas) will start at third base and hit fourth. Sophomore Keenan Iuliano (Waltham, Mass.) also will play third base and will earn quality innings.
Garcia, who was second on the Mules in batting average (.338), will play first base or outfield when he is not pitching. He will bat in the middle of the order. Tyler Mulberry (Middletown, Conn.) is extremely versatile and can play first base, shortstop, or third. Sterup brings a left-handed bat with potential power and will see time at first base.
Ward will get the start at second base and bat second behind Treveloni, while sophomore Matt Mitchell (Wayzata, Minn.) gets the nod at shortstop with his left-handed bat. Senior Grant Lowensohn (Fort Collins, Colo.) and sophomore Noah Paredes (Bedford, Mass.) will both see time as utility players. Della Volpe will be the main starter at catcher, but first-year George Schmidt (Worcester, Mass.) will be counted on to perform at this level. Cam Drew (Plymouth, Mass.), who is on the football team, will also will compete for action.
The Mules will play 10 games in Florida, before heading back to Maine. Colby’s home opener is set for Thursday, March 30, in a league game against Bates College at 4:00pm.
With the turf fields at the Colby Baseball/Softball Complex, the Mules could have some added home games. March has seen much snow and grass fields could suffer. Colby is scheduled for 11 home games.
The NESCAC Championships also will be played at Colby from Friday to Sunday, May 12-14