Men’s baseball looks to avenge cancelled season

Nick Sperduto, Contributing Writer

Around this time one year ago, the Patriot League canceled all remaining spring sports competitions due to fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The Bison men’s baseball team still had 29 games left on the schedule, posting a 4-12 overall record during the shortened season. The small sample size showed that the Bison are capable of playing with anyone. Most notably, they picked up a convincing 14-10 win on the road against Virginia, who is ranked 8th nationally entering this season. After only losing five players to graduation, the Orange and Blue are returning plenty of depth and appear poised to shake up the Patriot League.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing the players compete. They have worked tremendously hard since we lost our season to COVID-19 last year and deserve to play. I just want to see that come to fruition for them… The goal is always to win a Patriot League Championship,” head coach Scott Heather said. “We are a young talented team and have a very tough schedule ahead of us. We will need to continue to get better week to week and be playing our best ball at the end of the year when the playoffs come.”

Among those returning for the Bison is Chris Cannizzaro ’22, who led the Patriot league in RBIs last season. The outfielder started in all 16 games, hitting .328 and showing what he is capable of at the plate. Peter Marren ’21 also started all 16 games in the 2020 season. Brendan Lowery ’22, Jake Wortman ’23 and Kyle Lyons ’23 are all key returning players for the Orange and Blue.

Brenden Tuttle ’21 will lead the starting pitching rotation. The dominant right-hander will look to solidify his role as the ace, as playing at the next level is not beyond the realm of possibilities. The Bison bolster a deep bullpen once again, with the addition of five new arms this offseason: first-years Bryce Reimer, Connor Vucovich, Graeme Carroll and Nikhil Patel, as well as University of Richmond transfer Theo Farynick ’23.

If everything proceeds as scheduled, the Bison will face off with the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on three different weekends. This is a highly anticipated matchup against a very talented pitching staff, boasting multiple top MLB draft picks in its rotation. “It will be fun for our players to rise to the challenge,” Heather said.

The Bison will continue to face constant challenges on and off the field this season, but nothing will deter them from pursuing their first Patriot League Championship since 2014.

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