Justin Esquerra made an immediate impact in the middle of the Saints' lineup last season
Feb. 13, 2015
Watch This Weekend's Games
For the first time in 15 years, the Siena baseball team opens play this weekend at Central Florida with a big target on its back. The Saints are coming off their first MAAC title since 1999, a season that culminated with the program's first ever NCAA victory.
"I think we have reason to be optimistic," Siena coach Tony Rossi said. "We have a solid group of returnees on the mound, offense and defense. There's a lot to look forward to."
Here's 25 Things to Know About the Saints Heading Into 2015 (in 140 characters or fewer)
Coach Rossi is the second longest tenured coach in the nation (Augie Garrido Texas) and the longest at the same institution
Rossi is the winningest MAAC coach in any sport...ever. He earned his 800th victory in last year's MAAC Championship
The Saints will play their first 17 games on the road. Siena played its first 34 games on the road last year.
Senior ace Ed Lewicki will miss the Saints' Opening Weekend (appendicitis)
Lewicki is coming off a fine summer in the Perfect Game League where he was rated as having the best curve ball in the league
Junior Bryan Goossens will get the ball on Opening Night. Goossens pitched in the prestigious Cape Cod League over the summer
Lewicki and Goossens combined to throw over 158 innings last season as regulars in the weekend rotation
The strength of the staff last year was the bullpen. All-time saves leader Neil Fryer is gone, but Matt Quintana returns
Quintana was named Most Valuable Pitcher in the Future's League after a standout summer on Martha's Vineyard
Sophomores Taylor Ahearn and Chris Amorosi figure to be impact pitchers this season
Ahearn and Amorosi started the two MAAC Championship games last season and combined to allow 1 run in 10 innings
Senior Rick Morales is coming off an injury-plagued season, but could make a major impact. He's starting Saturday.
The Saints have five catchers who will vie for playing time
Dave Hoffmann is the Opening Day starter behind the plate. He had a great summer in the Virginia Valley League
Hoffmann's RBI triple in the 8th inning of Siena's NCAA Tournament game at national seed TCU tied the game
Senior co-captain Justin Esquerra will start at third base. Esquerra led the Saints with 29 RBI last season
Junior Tyler Martis is the starting short stop. Martis has already played in 117 games, making 116 starts
Siena set a program record with 67 double plays turned last season
Senior Brian Fay was a DH for most of last season, but he'll again compete for the starting job at first base
Dan Swain was the 2014 MAAC Rookie of the Year. Swain hit .293 w/ 27 RBI and 12 SB as a freshman
Swain was named a Perfect Game All-American over the summer. He is the everyday starter in centerfield
The other two outfield positions are open with highly touted JC transfer Fred Smart a likely starter
MAAC play commences at home against Rider on March 21 (an optimistic date). Last year's home opening series was moved to NYIT
The Saints play 3-game series w/ nine of the 11 conference teams (all but Marist and Iona). Siena was 17-7 in conference in 2014.
Manhattan will host the MAAC Championships May 20-24 at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill. Siena won the title there in 1999.