WORCESTER, Mass. - The Assumption College baseball team has been selected to finish fifth in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the league's 15 head coaches. The Hounds are again under the direction of fifth-year head coach Mike Rocco.
Assumption is coming off of a 17-25 (10-17 NE10) season last year.
The Hounds are ready to open up their 2018 season on February 24-25 as the team travels to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina to take on Mansfield in a pair of doubleheaders.
For the upcoming season, the Hounds will be led by senior captains Jake Byrne (Grafton, Mass. / Saint John's), Andrew Jaehnig (Quincy, Mass. / Boston College), and Mike Curtis (Wilmington, Mass. / Wilmington). In addition to the three captains, Assumption returns a number of starters from last season's squad and welcome in a group of talented newcomers to the program.
Jaehnig is the top returner after recording a historical season which saw him become the 11th player in the programs history to be named All-American. The senior hit his way to the East Region and NE10 batting title after batting a robust .401 on the season. He also owned the top slugging percentage in the conference and ranked third in the East Region with a mark of .637, which was .67 points higher than the runner up in the NE10. Jaehnig also finished second in the NE10 with 16 doubles and 63 hits, while ranking in the top ten in home runs (five), RBI (33), triples (three) and on base percentage (.449).
The Hounds are also excited to bring back sophomore standout Jared Brescia (Brentwood, N.H. / Exeter) this season. During his freshman campaign, Brescia was named to the NE-10 All-Rookie team, while also being named to the Worcester Area Baseball All-Stars Second Team after hitting .291 to go with a homerun and 18 RBI from second base.
Byrne will be looking to build off of his career year last season after recording a batting average of .309, while driving in 32 runs and launching four homeruns.
The Hounds welcome back a handful of senior pitchers to their staff led by Curtis, Tom Horstkotte (Milford, Mass. / St. John's) and Kyle Chudoba (Oxford, Conn. / Oxford) who will be looking to make a huge impact and lead an otherwise young pitching staff for Assumption this season. Curtis led the bunch with a team leading 71.1 innings pitched to go with a 3.28 ERA and 48 strikeouts.
After the Hounds 16-game swing down south to begin the season, the Hounds will kick off the conference schedule at 3:30pm on Tuesday, March 20 against American International College at Rocheleau Memorial Field.