Baseball: Pitching depth is key for Huskies

بلوق خيار ثنائي By Nate Owen, News Staff

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طرق التداول في الذهب اليوم At first glance, the start of the 2009 baseball season may be about the player losses the Huskies have suffered.
But a closer look reveals a deep pitching squad that could not only help carry the team through these losses, but could potentially help them return to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament, a place the Huskies haven’t been since 2006.
‘ Gone are a trio of senior captains:’ shortstop Mike Lyon (.357-14-46), first baseman Josh Porter (.237-3-24) and righthander Kris Dabrowiecki (2-4 5.81). Lyon was drafted by the New York Yankees last June, while Dabrowiecki, who is the Husky career leader in innings pitched and ranks third in career wins, signed with the Milwaukee Brewers last month. Also gone is sophomore lefthander Sheldon McDonald (9-2, 2.86), who was a first team All-CAA member and led the Huskies in wins, ERA, appearances (21) and strikeouts (72). McDonald left for ‘personal reasons,’manager Neil McPhee said.
‘ ‘McDonald’s loss is huge, there’s no doubt about that,’ McPhee said. ‘But he was an excellent student, an excellent person, not one bit of trouble on the team. He just felt his life needed to go in a different direction.’
‘ Despite the loss of the three captains, the Huskies still have plenty of leadership on the team.
‘ ‘There’s nine seniors on the team this year, and we’ve all played a lot,” senior righthander and co-captain Jeff Thomson said. ‘There should be no problems with leadership on the team.’
Northeastern will also start the season without the availability of junior outfielders Tony Dicesare (.281-4-22) and Frank Compagnone (.281-5-22).’ Dicesare is coming back from a back disc operation, while Compagnone is recovering from ACL surgery on his knee, McPhee said. Their targeted return date is April 1.
‘ ‘What usually happens is players do step up when they’re given the opportunity to get into the lineup based on others not being ready,’ McPhee said. ‘We’re hopeful that happens, but it doesn’t lessen the concern going into the season when you are missing two guys who are right in the middle of your order for two years.’
With that, here’s positional breakdown of the 2009 Huskies:

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كيف تربح أموال إضافية سريعا Catcher
Senior captain Frank Pesanello (.278-20-51) broke Northeastern’s single season home run record last season and was fourth in the conference in that category. He slugged a robust .639 last season and is slated to bat in the cleanup spot.
‘ ‘If he steps it up to the next level he could be a huge offensive force, not just with us, but a force in the country power-wise in terms of home runs per nine innings,’ McPhee said. Backing up Pesanello will be sophomores Chris Guillemette (.200-0-3) and Devin Berry, along with redshirt freshman Tucker Roeder and true freshman John Puttress.

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الخيارات الثنائية حساب تجريبي الهند First Base
Junior Brandan Stokes (.300-1-2) is the front runner for the first base spot and will bat anywhere from sixth to eighth in the lineup. Freshman Jason Roth ‘is a very talented athlete’ who could see time at first and the outfield, or be redshirted, McPhee said.

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Senior James Donaldson had his best offensive season last year (.295-2-13) and will start the season in the fifth spot with the injuries to DiCesare and Compagnone.
‘James Donaldson finished last year at second base and he looks strong again [this year],’ McPhee said.

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الخيارات الثنائية يعيش غرفة التداول Third Base
All-CAA first team member and senior Mike Tamsin (.380-3-34) is coming off a season where he set the Northeastern record for hits (73). He lead NU in both batting average and on base percentage (.457), and ranked eighth and 11th in the CAA, respectively, in those categories. He will bat in the third sport and will combine with Pesanello to give the Huskies a dynamic middle of the order.
‘Tamsin ended the season at third base,’ McPhee said. ‘He’s a very surehanded guy, never makes anything but an accurate throw. If the ball is hit to him, he’ll make the play.’
McPhee said both Tamsin and Pesenallo have been getting looked at by area scouts.

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جناح تداول الخيارات الثنائية Shortstop
Lyon’s departure left a gaping hole in the lineup and a question mark at short going into the season. However, McPhee said that question has been answered by freshman Sam Berg, who is the leading candidate to start the year at shortstop.
‘[He] looks like a very talented defensive player, very good arm, very good shortstop skills,’ McPhee said.
Berg, who has some speed, McPhee said, will begin the season batting ninth.
‘He can concentrate on his defense more, that’s the priority for him right now,’ McPhee said. ‘But he’s a very instinctive, talented freshman, so we think he can develop into a good offensive player as well.’

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get link Outfield/DH
With the absence of DiCesare and Compagnone to start the season, the outfield is perhaps the most fluid area for the Huskies. The lone starter available at the start of the year will be junior David Gustafson (.295-6-25), who will slide from left field to replace Compagnone in center.’ Gustafson slugged 15 doubles last year and will likely begin the season batting second.
There are several candidates to replace DiCesare and Compagnone, including redshirt freshman Matt Miller, who will get an opportunity in the outfield and DH role. Sophomore Ryan Maguire (.181-0-2), who spent much of his time in the infield last season, will play there again but will also see time in the outfield as well as’ DH. Sophomore Jeff Dunlap (.375-0-0) will get playing time as well. Maguire and Dunlap will combine with Stokes to fill out the six through eight spots in the order.

enter Starting Rotation/Bullpen
Even with the losses of McDonald and Dabrowiecki, the Huskies boast a deep staff that should prove to be an assest through the season.
‘This is the deepest staff we’ve had in my five years here,’ Thomson said.’ ‘We probably have four or five guys that could throw on the weekend and two or three guys who could close.’
Thomson (5-4 5.45) and his impeccable control return after leading the Huskies with’ four complete games and 74.1 innings last season. In 167 career innings, he’s fanned 99 while walking just 33. Senior Trevor Smith (0-1 4.97) is in his second season back from Tommy John surgery.
‘He looks like he’s rounding into the form he had just before his surgery, where he’s pitching in the 90 [mph] velocity’ McPhee said. ‘He’s not pitching at 90 yet, but he’s getting there.’
Junior Ryan Quigley (2-4 8.06)’ was honored as the top New England prospect in the Cape’ Cod League last summer and has been throwing well this offseason, getting the attention of several scouts. Sophomore Les Williams (1-5, 7.14) is also expected to be a part of the weekend rotation.
‘It’s been a good competition,’ Thomson said. ‘It pushes us during practice, we’ve all been throwing pretty well, there certainty is a prestige to throwing on the weekend.’
In the bullpen, junior lefthander Charly Bashara (3-1, 6.06), senior lefthander Dan Zehr (2-4 7.65), senior righthander Aaron Greenblatt (0-0, 3.86), sophomore righthander Brandon McNelis and sophomore righthander JT Ross (0-0 14.14) are all vying for roles. Senior righthander Russ Lloyd (0-0 19.64) has shown potential as a closer.
‘The biggest surprise is Russ Lloyd,’ McPhee said. ‘If he can continue to throw inside at 90-92 with a slider and a changeup he has the potential to be a big factor on the weekends.’
Freshman lefty Andrew Leenhouts has shown potential as a starter and redshirt freshman rightander Greg Ferguson is coming off an injury, but could contribute later on. Freshman lefthander Michael Murphy has a good curveball and could either help out this season or be redshirted, McPhee said.
Northeastern was picked 10th out of 11 teams in the coaches’ CAA preseason poll after finishing seventh last season with a 12-17-1 conference record (25-26-1 overall).
‘ ‘Let’s face it, in 2006′ we went into the Colonial conference [from America East],’ McPhee said. ‘Look at the level of competition we moved up to. In 2006 we had a veteran team [NU lost four’ key players to the draft and two to graduation]. What that proved to us was that we can compete at the higher end of the Colonial conference as a northern school and as the least funded program in the conference by far, as was the case in 2006. I feel very confident that we will get back into the tournament and do well again. Last year were were in the tournament as late as the last Friday of the season. So we’re knocking on the door to get back in the tournament.’
Thomson will be on the mound when Northeastern begins its season in Sarasota, Fla. when they face Division II opponent Eckerd (4-5) Wednesday at 7 p.m. They will hold their annual scrimmage with the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers Saturday at 1 p.m. and then play ten games in Florida, along with a three game tournament at Seton Hall. Conference play begins March 20 with a three game series at defending CAA champs James Madison. NU’s first home game is March 23 against Connecticut.

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