By Brittany Pavlichko | Published Feb 8th, 2017
With the spring quickly approaching, Kean University’s baseball team is preparing to take home the national championship with 13 new faces on the team.
Head Coach Neil Ioviero will be entering his 20th season with the Cougars and believes the new players will adjust quickly and the pitching staff will be better than the previous 2016 season.
“We got a lot of pieces to our puzzle, we have guys that can play different positions and can adapt,” said Ioviero. “What we are most excited about this year is that we really overturned the team compared to the last couple of years.”
Some of the new players include:
Infielders Derek Walker, Michael Fidanza and Nick Polizzano
Infielder and Pitcher Jonathan Rodriguez
Outfielder Mikal Trice
Catcher Chris Vetter
Pitchers Dylan Colatrella, Justin Hernandez, Kevin Mojica and Anthony Hirujo
Pitcher and outfielder Frank Logiudice
Infielder Ivan Rivera
Outfielder James Fitzgerald
“I am really excited for the first game,” said Polizzano. “I’ve been waiting for the start of my first game as a college baseball player since I stepped on campus in August of 2016.”
Pollizano played shortstop at South Plainfield high school all four years and individually he earned all-county and all-state honors both junior and senior year. One of his goals for this upcoming season at Kean is to prove to himself, teammates and the coaches that he deserves to be on the field.
Additionally, the Cougars will not have left handed pitcher Ian Fitzgerald and right handed pitcher Frank Dente due to arm surgery. With this in mind, the Cougars are taking it as a challenge and coming together even more as a team despite injuries.
“I think we have the right mix of returning and new players to accomplish all our season goals,” said senior left handed pitcher Richard Ferguson. “I am just focusing on throwing strikes and trusting our defense to make plays in the field and our offense to score runs.”
The team will play their first game on Friday, Feb. 17 versing Stevens Institute of Technology at 2:30 p.m.