Suffolk’s 2007 baseball team is looking to get back into the race for the conference title. The Rams open their season with 11 games in Florida, beginning Friday, March 9. Coach Cary McConnell’s team returns to Boston for the Northern Schedule with a game at Bridgewater State on Wed. March 21.
The Rams finished the 2006 season with a 22-18 overall record, 11-3 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference games. GNAC action begins early as Suffolk hosts Daniel Webster on Saturday, March 24 in a noon doubleheader at Adams Field in Quincy, MA.
“Our team is a work in progress right now,” McConnell said. “We are still figuring out where guys belong and fit best. We are trying to find position-wise the best nine players. After we finish our first 11 games, I hope we can answer that.”
The Rams return 17 players from last season and have added six transfers and seven freshmen this year. Captains for the 2007 season are Marc Exarhopoulos, Steve Durant and Greg DiMarco.
Exarhopoulos, a senior catcher from Hudson, MA, hit .374 last year. Durant, a junior pitcher from Malden, MA, missed most of last season with an injury. He has a career 2.45 ERA at Suffolk and a .299 career batting average. DiMarco, a junior outfielder from Newton, MA, had 10 stolen bases last year.
“Our captains have been doing a good job of setting the tone for our work habits,” McConnell said. “This is a hard working group. They are very competitive and committed to what we want to accomplish which is the GNAC and reach the NCAA’s.”
The Rams return seven pitchers from last season. “One of our strengths is our quality of pitching and depth of pitching,” McConnell said. “They can throw well and command two or three pitches and they are going to compete.”
While the Rams have 13 new players on the 2007 roster, Suffolk will have a lot of experienced collegiate players on the field.
“Defensively, our infield is very good,” McConnell said. “We have good quality athletes with a year of maturing. When we figure out offensively, our best nine, we can be a very good ball club. On paper we look young, but we are not going to run out eight freshmen. Most of our players have played a significant amount of baseball.”