Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Baseball: 2014 Season Preview

Baseball? Really?

Yes, while we’re bracing for more snow and cold here in the northeast, the Rhode Island Rams baseball team will be in sunny Florida trying to put together yet another successful year. So before Rhody gets their 2014 season underway this Friday, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s squad.

The Team

2013 Record: 35-24 (17-7 in Atlantic 10 play), lost in second round of A-10 Tournament

Key Losses: IF Mike LeBel, IF Pat Fortunato, OF Jeff Roy, P Mike Bradstreet, P Sean Furney

Key Returners: IF Tim Caputo, IF Connor Foreman, C Shane O’Connell, P Steve Moyers, P Ty Sterner

New Faces: IF Chris Hess, IF David Hopkins, OF Dan Hetzel, P Tyler Barss, P Taso Stathopoulos

The Roster

Breakdown: (freshmen/sophomores/juniors/seniors) 18/9/6/5

Closest to Home: IF T.J. Lynch (South Kingstown, RI)

Furthest from Home: P Milan Mantle (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)

US States Represented: 11 (Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington) plus British Columbia, Canada

The Accolades

  • OF Dan Hetzel projected as 2014 Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year by Baseball America
  • P Ty Sterner (7), P Lou Distasio (9), and IF Tim Caputo (10) all named to Baseball America’s list of Top 10 Draft Prospects
  • P Steve Moyers named one of the A-10’s Top Starting Pitchers by College Baseball Insider
  • IF Tim Caputo and P Steve Moyers named to Preseason All-Atlantic 10 Second Team by College Sports Madness
  • P Brad Applin named to the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award watch list.

The Schedule

First Series: February 14th-16th at Florida Gulf Coast

First Game vs 2013 CWS Participant: February 28th at Coastal Carolina

First In-Season Tournament: February 28th – March 2nd, Caravelle Resort Tournament, Myrtle Beach, SC

First Home Series: March 8th-9th vs UMass Lowell

First A-10 Series: March 21st-23rd vs Saint Louis

The Predictions

Rhode Island was picked to finish third in the conference in the A-10 preseason poll released last week, and they even received some Top 25 votes in the Collegiate Baseball poll. And while Rhody won’t be fielding a veteran team like they did a year ago, they’re loaded with young talent this season. With a lineup that includes Foreman and Hetzel and a pitching staff with Moyers and Sterner, URI is poised to compete not just this year, but beyond.

The run to the Atlantic 10 title begins on Friday.

Tags: Baseball Rhode Island Rams

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