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Purchase, NY (Mar. 8, 2011) – A sub .500 campaign last spring has the Purchase College men’s baseball team hungrier than ever.
After coming off a disappointing 2010 campaign, where the Panthers finished 11-18 overall, and 5-11 in the Skyline Conference – after starting off 9-3 – the revamped team will look to return to their 2009 form, where the team captured its first playoff berth.
[Pictured above: AUSTIN GROVES' SWEET SWING CONTINUES TO PRODUCE YEAR AFTER YEAR. -Photo by Oren Vourman]
This year’s team will be lead by outfielder Austin Groves (SR/Stratford, CT), first baseman Phil Sanford (SR/Afton, NY), catcher Casey Calautti (SR/West Islip, NY) and pitcher Brian Angelone (SR/ Howard Beach, NY). Groves looks to become the program’s all-time hit leader with 132 career hits, one behind last year’s captain, Jared Isaacson. Sanford finally gets his opportunity to get quality time after sitting behind All-Region first baseman and program home run leader, George Kennedy. Calautti, also a career backup, looks to get his opportunity catching and as the designated hitter. Angelone will be one of the key starters in the rotation.
These four seniors are seasoned veterans. Although some of them do not have the playing experience yet, they have the leadership qualities that have shaped what head coach Bill Guerrero calls “the most cohesive unit I have coached yet.”
Adding to the mix of the core four seniors, is a strong group of key returners, transfers, and freshmen.
Now a three-year veteran of the program, shortstop Josh Spielberg (JR/Oceanside, NY) will look to have a breakout season after posting strong numbers in each of the previous two campaigns. Former 1st Team All-Skyline pitcher Albert Baez (SR/New York, NY) will look to build on his strong summer and lead the pitching staff.
Pitcher Matthew Paz (SO/ Bridgeport, CT) took great strides in the off season and should slide in nicely to the top of the Panther rotation, providing the Panthers a strong one two punch. Other returners looking to help the lead the season will be pitcher Brian Thompson (SR/Queens, NY), outfielder Sean Lafaye (SO/Dobbs Ferry, NY), infielder Irving Guzman (SO/Bronx, NY), infielder Phil Georges (SO/Brooklyn, NY), pitcher Chris Carboni (JR/Stratford, CT), infielder Michael Marrone (SO/Pleasantville, NY), pitcher Miller Lulow (SO/New York, NY) and catcher Will Bernstein (JR/Staten Island, NY).
[Pictured above: HEAD COACH BILL GUERRERO HAS TURNED PURCHASE INTO A PERENNIAL CONTENDER. -Photo by Oren Vourman]
A strong group of transfers has also joined the team to help bolster the Panthers this season. A pair of outfielders Collin Morris (SO/ Bridgeport, CT) and Mark Donohue (SO/ Brookhaven, NY) should figure into the Panthers’ starting lineup. Pitchers Eric Cuadrado (JR/Yonkers, NY) and Charles Salino (FR/Brooklyn, NY) should add depth to the starting rotation, something Guerrero has been in search of.
Key returners who missed last season due to injuries include third baseman and pitcher Kevin McQuade (SO/Mamaroneck, NY), catcher Dominick Simone (SR/Shirley, NY) and catcher Frank Fiumara (JR/Port Chester, NY).
Other newcomers include freshmen infielder John Duffy (FR/Staten Island, NY), first baseman Leandro Francisco (FR/Bedford Hills, NY) and infielder Chris Marasco (FR/Bronxville, NY), who all have the potential to be immediate impact players as well.