LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's 2017 baseball team has its eye on a return to the Centennial Conference (CC) Postseason after narrowly missing out on the tournament from a year ago. The Diplomats' regular season opens this weekend with a three-game series against Washington & Lee, a team who received votes in the latest national poll, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
To watch a season preview video featuring fourth-year head coach Ryan Horning, click here.
Last year's squad was in contention for a CC Tournament berth up until the final week of the season, eventually concluding the 2016 campaign with a 16-20-1, 7-10-1 CC record. The 2017 Diplomats return three All-CC players, a total of seven regulars from the batting order, three pitchers who started at least eight contests and four members of the bullpen who appeared in 10 games or more.
To watch a video roster of the 2017 team, click here.
A 10-member freshman class, to go along with two transfers, is expected to provide major contributions to the team. That group will be key in making up the loss of seven seniors, which includes two-year captain's Matt Mezansky (third base) and Brett Poniros (shortstop), along with sure-handed first baseman Luke Seib and power-hitting outfielder Mike Smeriglio.
Top Returners (Batting Order)
Casey Bulik | Sr. | IF (.323/.370/.355 – 40 Hits, 20 Runs)
Tyler Daley | Sr.. | OF (.354/.497/.579 – 40 Hits, 27 Runs, 12 SBs)
David Iacobucci | Sr. | OF (.379/.447/.579 – 53 Hits, 29 Runs, 4 HRs, 24 RBIs)
Dan Marano | Jr. | 1B/DH (.221/.284/.279 – 15 Hits, 7 Runs – 21 Games)
Christopher Vincent | Sr. | C (.284/.325/.367 – 31 Hits, 15 Runs, 11 RBIs)
Reed Williams | Jr. | IF (.340/.385/.371 – 33 Hits, 13 Runs, 15 RBIs)
*Slash line indicates (AVG/OBP/SLG)
Top Returners (Starting Pitchers)
Mike Androconis | Jr. | RHP (4-2, 2.95 ERA, 58 IP, 36 Ks)
Eric Bateman | Sr. | RHP (3-3, 5.65 ERA, 43 IP, 25 Ks)
Mack Glavin | Sr. | RHP (3-3, 5.17 ERA, 54 IP, 21 Ks)
Top Returners (Bullpen)
Andrew Mascis | So. | RHP (6 Saves, 2.08 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 19 Ks)
Milestones to Watch
David Iacobucci cracked the top 10 for home runs and enters his senior season in a three-way tie for sixth with eight in his career. Scott Haft '05 holds the program record with 14. He is also nearing the top-10 in hits (123) and RBIs (64).
Tyler Daley is fifth in career on-base percentage at .458 in 191 at-bats. Matt Will '11 holds the record at .507 in 458 at-bats.
Closing in on 1,000 Wins
The F&M baseball program enters the 2017 season with a 995-1211-25 all-time record, dating back to 1877. Only three other Centennial institutions (Johns Hopkins, Gettysburg, and Washington) reached 1,000 wins as a program.
A Look at Washington & Lee
The Generals will enter this weekend with eight games already under their belts for the season. Only two players were lost to graduation from last year's squad that produced a 26-14 overall record, which was good for the third-most victories in program history.
To view live stats for this weekend, click here.
The Road Ahead
A third of F&M's games in 2017 are set to be played against team's who either appear in the top-25 or received votes in the national poll, including each of the four matchups to open the season. Key non-conference contests include a March 4 road game against No. 24 Salisbury and a doubleheader at No. 18 TCNJ on March 25.
CC action opens at home on Saturday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m. for game one of a twin bill against Washington. Three games are currently scheduled to take place at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Lancaster Barnstormers, beginning with the home opener versus Hood on March 21 at 3:30 p.m. The CC Tournament runs from May 4-7.
A continued featured to the schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 men's tennis schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.