HIRAM, OHIO -- The Hiram College baseball team will have an experienced team in 2013 with 16 returning lettermen and eight players who saw significant playing time as starters.
The 2012 Terriers ended the season with an 8-26 overall record despite starting out the year 8-4. Hiram lost just three players to graduation from the 2012 squad, but will be without the services of catcher Randy Miller who finished second on the team in batting average (.366) and was first in runs batted in with 21. Following the season, he earned first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors, becoming the fourth Terrier to do so since joining the conference and first since the 2004 season.
This spring, Hiram will be led by seven returning seniors in Eric Cameron (Akron/Green), Lee Cancilla (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Mike Lalonde (Willowick/South), Travis Richey (Petersburg/Springfield Local), Ian Sewolich (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Torrey Stimson (Hudson/Walled Lake, Mich.) and Joel Turner (Vermilion). Richey is the lone returning All-Conference player earning honorable mention accolades in 2012.
Hiram returns all but one of its pitchers from last year's starting rotation. The Terriers will be led by Lalonde as the team's ace after a season that saw him make nine appearances with eight starts and four complete games. He led the team in strikeouts (47) and was second in innings pitched (46.2) and third in earned run average (5.01). Richey and sophomore Nate Weiss (Warren, Mich./University Leggitt) will battle in the No. 2 and 3 spots. Richey started all five games he pitched last season with one complete game. Amongst the starting pitchers, he led the squad in ERA (4.91) and wins (three). Richey was fourth in strikeouts (22) while pitching 25 and two-thirds innings. Weiss made nine appearances with six starts and two complete games. He led all pitchers in innings pitched at 49.1 and was second in strikeouts with 27. Also look for sophomore Pat Rhodes (Girard) to compete for possible role as a starter. Last season, he was second in appearances with 10 and made four starts. He also finished the season third in strikeouts (25) and fourth in innings pitched (33.0).
The bullpen will feature the most newcomers, but will also have some experienced players led by sophomore J.T. Taylor (Niles). In his first season with the program, Taylor led the team in appearances (14) and also started a pair of games. He was third overall in innings pitched (37.0) while posted a 1-1 record with 17 strikeouts. Also adding depth at the pitcher position will be Cameron. Cameron appeared in six games with a 2.25 ERA striking out four batters in eight innings. He also recorded the team's only save.
The Hiram infield will have a host of returning players who had significant playing time in 2012. The Terrier infield will be led by Stimson who led the team in batting average last season at .385 (35-of-91) and was tied for second in runs scored with 21. He started all 27 games he played as a third baseman and shortstop while recording a triple, five doubles and nine RBI. Junior Tim Calhoun (Canfield) saw playing time last year both behind the plate and at first base and should do so again this spring. He batted .267 (28-of-105) with two homeruns, 19 RBI and team or team-tying highs of seven doubles and 23 runs scored. junior Shane Haidet (Alliance/Marlington) started all 32 games he played primarily at shortstop, but also saw time at second base. Haidet posted a .227 batting average in 2012 (25-of-110) with a homerun, a double, 19 runs scored and 17 RBI. He was the team's leading base stealer with six stolen bases. Sophomore Ron DeAmicis (Austintown/ Fitch) made an impact in his first season with the program last season starting 24-of-25 games at second base. He ended the 2012 campaign third in batting average at .329 (27-of-82) with a double, 12 runs scored and 12 RBI. In addition, look for sophomore Mark Leone (Boardman) and Cancilla to provide depth and compete for playing time in the infield in 2013. Leone saw playing time in 26 games at first base and designated hitter with 20 starts. He batted .247 (18-of-73) with four doubles, nine runs scored and five RBI. Cancilla played in 19 games as a backup with seven starts. He posted a .188 batting average (six-of-32) with one double, five runs scored and four RBI.
The outfield also returns its share of experience led by primary starters junior George Blake (Parma) and sophomore Jeff Segal (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield). Blake started all 32 games he played and was fourth on the team in batting average (.328) last season with a team-tying high two homeruns and seven doubles. He was also tied for second in runs scored (21) and second in RBI (20). Segal played in 32 games as a freshman and started 31. He ended his first season with a .240 batting average (25-of-104) with one homer, five doubles, 13 runs scored and 11 RBI. He was also tied for second in stolen bases with four. When not on the mound, look for Richey to see playing time in the outfield. Richey started 18-of-19 games primarily at center field, while batting .321 (18-of-56) at the plate with three doubles, 10 runs scored and eight RBI. He also had three stolen bases. In addition, look for sophomore Rob O'Toole (Brooklyn, N.Y./La Salle Academy) to see playing time in the outfield. Last season, he played in 25 games with 10 starts recording four hits in 35 attempts while scoring seven runs and driving in one run. He was also tied for second in stolen bases with four.
Hiram will begin its 2013 season with its annual spring trip to Florida on Mar. 3-9. The Terriers will be traveling to Fort Myers, Fla. and will play their first game on Sunday (Mar. 3) in a doubleheader against Ohio Northern University. The first game is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Hiram begins its northern schedule on Saturday, Mar. 16 with a scheduled non-conference doubleheader against Thiel (Pa.) College. The first game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.