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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Baseball Season Preview

Excitement is high surrounding the University of Massachusetts Boston’s baseball team this upcoming season. After a steady improvement the last two seasons, the team looks to finally have their roster at a place where they can be legitimate contenders in the LEC.
After finishing 9-5 against teams within their conference two seasons ago and 10-4 just last season, their first at Monan Park, it seems like there is much to be excited about regarding the team’s steady improvement. Head Coach Brendan Eygabroat certainly thinks that the team is ready to take the next step, especially after making it so far in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
When asked if the UMass Boston community should expect further improvement from the team this season, Coach Eygabroat said, “I think so. We have a nice core of veterans returning, a really strong pitching staff back. Tying for the regular season conference championship last year was great for the team, and then getting a bid to the regional championship gives the team even more success for the team to build off of.”
The team’s success last season should be beneficial for any young team, and this season should present a great opportunity for the team to display the experience they now have.
Coach Eygabroat also commented on the obstacles the team might be faced with during the course of the season, and the strengths they have to combat them when they encounter them.
Eygabroat stated, “I think whenever you are a preseason favorite you have a bullseye on you, so it’s all about how you respond to taking everyone’s best punch. So, because of that, you really can’t take any days off. I think all of the opponents are typically gonna have one of their best pitchers ready to face you, because of the reputation of the program and the team.”
He also stated that the team’s early schedule will be a test, because it is extremely difficult. Eygabroat also states that the pitching staff should be the strength of the team this season, calling it the deepest staff he has ever coached, and also spoke highly of its versatility. With JT Morin, Fernando Burgos, and Dan Mantoni all returning to the rotation this season, plus the additions of Matt Tully, Joe Rogers, and Bobby Tramandozzi coming out of the bullpen, it looks to continue to be one of the strongest staffs in the conference.
Coach Eygabroat does stress that he would like to see improvement to the two-strike pitching this season. The team struck out a total of 303 times last season; however, the coach expects improvement in that area.
He said, “I think a big problem was that we often times had four or five freshmen in the lineup, so when you have a lot of young hitters, they have a tendency to expand the strike zone.”
In addition to Tully and Rogers, the team also brings in some exciting additions for the upcoming season. Pitchers such as Chris Monro, Adrian Russo, and Anthony Pescara have the potential to be major impact players right away.
The team’s outlook is certainly high for the 2017 season. With the majority of a roster that had a fair amount of tournament success last season, and a few talented newcomers now aboard, excitement should certainly be present for the Beacons this time around. The coach’s enthusiasm is evident, as he expects big things from his team this year.
The beacons will open the season as an LEC favorite, and it’s hard to argue with that when you take a look at the roster. Be sure to catch a game at Monan Park this season, for what looks to be a big year for UMass Boston baseball.