The Alfred State baseball team opens up the 2017 season this weekend in Virginia under first year head coach Mike Armstrong with high hopes. The Pioneers will look to build on the momentum of the end of the 2016 season in which the team won 12 of their last 18 contests.
Cullen Franz (Cazenovia) and Thomas Shofi (Carmel) are expected to lead the offense. Andy Pichardo (Queesn/Academy of American Studies), Robert Cardona (Harlem/All Hollows), Rafael Perozo (Bronx/St. Raymond), and Jose Martinez (Queesn/Newtown) will also be key.
- Franz, a senior outfielder, is a career .315 hitter with 13 doubles, 13 triples, and 70 RBI. He is coming off a junior year in which he hit .328 with eight extra base hits and 12 stolen bases.
- Shofi, a junior outfielder, was named a USCAA All-American last year after hitting .402 with 18 doubles, two triples, two homers, and 25 RBI.
- Pichardo, a sophomore infielder, hit .273 with four extra base hits and 12 RBI in his freshmen season.
- Cardona, a junior infielder, hit .341 last year with five extra base hits and 14 RBI.
- Perozo, a junior first basemen, hit .324 last year with two homers and 21 RBI.
- Martinez, a junior outfielder, is a career .284 hitter with 33 RBI.
Pedro Mora (Washington Heights/AP Randolph), Austin Baker (Canisteo Greenwood), Jesse Swan (Campbell Savona), Dan Woodward (Honeoye), and David Zuber (Honeoye Falls Lima) return and should see significant time in the starting lineup. Newcomers Marco Marrero (Dyckman/City College), Lucas Cornell (Alfred Almond), and Benjamin Reid (Williamson) will also called on to be contributors.
- Sass was 4-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 69.1 innings of work last season. He has 11 career wins, 99 strikeouts, and has pitched 163.2 innings.
- Remington has tossed 93 innings in his two years at Alfred State. He has seven career victories and 60 strikeouts.
Sophomore Nick Mahoney (Lakewood, OH) and sophomore transfer Lucas Cornell along with newcomers Bobby Papoalouizos (Staten Island/Fort Hamilton), Thomas Hunter (White Plains/Salesian), and Angel Victorino (New York/Harvest Collegiate) will also be important pieces of pitching staff.
The Pioneers 35 player roster features 22 players from last year's team and six seniors.
After this weekend's three-game road trip at Apprentice the team will play a three-game series at Emory & Henry (VA) and play nine games at the Cal Ripken Experience (Myrtle Beach, SC) before opening up the northern part of their schedule. In late March, the team begins play up north as they battle opponents from the Empire 8, the AMCC, the SUNYAC, and the USCAA. With success in the regular season, the blue & gold will look to qualify for the USCAA World Series in Glens Falls, NY.
The Pioneers have finished the last two seasons with a 14-25 record.