After posting a nine-game turnaround in 2017, the Hiram College baseball team will look to continue their upwards trend as they take the field in 2018.
After earning Newcomer of the Year in the North Coast Athletic Conference last season, sophomore Hank Clegg will once again look to anchor the Terrier pitching rotation. In 2017, Clegg had a one of the best seasons by a Terrier pitcher in recent memory, garnering second-team honors.
As a freshman, Clegg led the NCAC in opponent batting average (.194) as well as hits allowed (35). He finished the season with a 4-1 record in nine starts, while tallying a 2.54 ERA in 49.2 innings of work.
Clegg won't be the only top pitcher returning from last season, as four of the Terriers' six lowest ERA men are back for another year.
Joining Clegg, sophomore Logan Huffman returns as one of the Terriers' top arms out of the bullpen. Huffman sported a 2.30 ERA last season, allowing just 11 hits in 15.2 innings of work.
Duben owned one of the three complete games thrown by the Terriers last season and finished with a 2-1 record in seven appearances.
Making seven starts on the season, May went 3-3 as a freshman in 2017, ranking second on the roster in both innings pitched and strikeouts. Joyce, meanwhile, has won a pair of games in each of his last two seasons, and struck out 14 batters in 2017.
Serving as the backbone of the bullpen, senior Tyler Carcioppolo will once again work as the closer, among his duties at second base.
Last season, T-Cap tied the single-season Hiram record with five saves, and is just one save shy of breaking the all-time Terrier career record, which he currently shares with three other players.
Other arms that will add depth to the Terrier pitching staff include senior Kyle Watson, junior Sebastian Jenkins, sophomore Kyle Harris as well as freshmen Case Wiles, Parker Emerine, David Paus and Justin Humphry.
Both Jenkins and Watson have seen time out of the bullpen in past seasons, but will both look to be more of a contributing factor out of the pen this season.
With the departure of senior Eric Martin, the main catching duties will be handled by sophomore Vince Lonigro, who split time with Martin in 2017.
In 2017, Lonigro appeared in 18 games, hitting over .300 with a .443 on-base percentage. Behind the plate, he was solid defensively, posting a fielding percentage of .968 while throwing out seven base runners.
Five returning letterwinners are back in the fray to help make up the depth at the infield spots. Along with his closing duties, Carcioppolo will serve as the second baseman on opening day.
At the plate, Cacioppolo posted a .345 batting average while tallying 19 hits, including six for extra bases. He was also efficient as part of the middle infield, posting a .910 fielding percentage while turning six double plays.
At first base, Duben will serve as the starter when he is not on the mound. The freshman appeared in 21 games last season, hitting .316. Looking to replace All-NCAC selection, Brandon Chesmar, Duben was also a solid defender, notching a .968 fielding percentage in 55 total chances.
On the left side of the infield, sophomore Vito Petrillo will look to step into a new role as the everyday short stop, while both Mike Eversole and Will Howell will provide depth at the hot corner. Along with playing behind the plate, Gould will additionally also serve at third.
Petrillo appeared in 31 games last season, making stops all over the infield. He hit .280 at the dish, posting 21 hits and 10 RBIs.
Eversole made 20 appearances in 2017, while Howell saw action in 14 games.
With the losses of two of their three starting outfielders, the Terriers will look to junior Alex Perrella to provide leadership as he moves from left to center field in 2018.
In 2017, Perrella saw action in 31 games, hitting .313 with 16 RBIs and a pair of extra-base hits. As a sophomore in the field, he committed just one error throughout the season while adding three outfield assists.
As a jack of all trades, Carcioppolo will also see action in the outfield, while Watson, Bailey and sophomore Curtis Caithaml will all see significant time.
Hiram will open the 2018 season with 10 games at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. All the action kicks off on Sunday, March 4, as the Terriers face Pitt-Bradford in a doubleheader.
After coming back home on March 10, Hiram will embark on a seven-game road-trip, before opening NCAC play at home against Kenyon College on March 31.
With the new alignment of the NCAC, all conference teams will now play a doubleheader against every other program in the NCAC. As such, the Terriers will also play host to Wooster (4/4), Wittenberg (4/7) and Wabash (4/28) while traveling to Denison (4/14), Allegheny (4/17), DePauw (4/21) Ohio Wesleyan (5/2) and Oberlin (5/5).