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First Pitch Set for this Weekend

Baseball team starts season this weekend - 2019 Baseball Preview

The Alfred State baseball team will open up their 40-game schedule this weekend at Houghton College. The Pioneers will look to make some noise and qualify for the AMCC Tournament after just missing the postseason last year.

Mike Armstrong (3rd season) has a solid nucleus of returning players and will count on a talented group of newcomers to make immediate impacts.

Garrett Mack (Avon), Jarrod Deaton (Newburgh Free), Gabe Lewis (Arkport), Connor Hong (Gates Chili), and AJ Gartland (Irondequoit) return to the pitching staff.

  • Last year Mack appeared in 10 games and was 4-3 in 41.2 innings of work. He has tossed 82.2 innings in his career and is 7-5.
  • Deaton, an All-AMCC selection, appeared in 17 games and was 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings of work.
  • Lewis was also solid out of the bullpen last year. He appeared in 11 games and tossed 17.2 inning while registering a 3.06 ERA.
  • Hong made six starts during his first year and pitched 27.2 innings while Gartland made four starts and tossed 15.2 innings.

Newcomers Andrew Santobuono (Franklin/Unatego) and Kaleb Smothers (Geneva) will be counted to jump right in and pitch key innings on the mound.

Four of the top five hitters from 2018 return, Connor Pingitore (Broadalpin-Perth), Nick Geyer (Newburgh Free), Jack Henby (Hornell), and Colin Johnson (Alfred Almond), to the Pioneers line-up. 

  • Pingitore, a junior outfielder, led the team last year with a .340 batting average. He collected six doubles, drove in 17, and stole 14 bases.
  • Geyer, a senior catcher, hit .288 with five doubles and a triple as he split time behind the plate last year
  • Henby, a sophomore outfielder, hit .279 with six doubles, one triple, two homers, 13 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
  • Johnson, a junior catcher, hit .265 last year with eight doubles, four homers, and 19 RBI.

Infielders Josh Laurie (LeRoy), Mike Gibson (Schenectady), and Brody Burdett (Scottsdale, AZ) also return. Andy Pichardo (Queens/Academy of American Studies) will also be in the mix after missing all last season with an injury. Dan Woodward (Honeoye) returns in the outfield and Danny Doran (Irondequoit) will compete for time as the team's DH.

Newcomers Justin LoTemple (Greece Athena) and Tim Holler (Brewster) will most likely have chances to be in the line-up as well.

After Saturday's opening split doubleheader with Houghton and Messiah the Pioneers are scheduled to travel to Mt. St. Mary and Wells College the following weekend for a pair of doubleheaders. The Pioneers head South for a nine day trip to Virginia and Florida (March 8-16) before returning to Alfred to open up AMCC play. The Pioneers are slated to play 18 AMCC contests and will play non-conference contest with opponents from the Empire 8, the SUNYAC, and the NEAC. The first round of the AMCC playoffs (top six teams in the conference qualify for the postseason) begin the first weekend of May followed by the final four the next weekend.

Alfred State finished the 12-27 last year and 7-11 in AMCC. In the preseason poll the team was predicted to finish 7th.

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