2018 Hamilton baseball season preview

Dean Rosenberg '18 (left) and Dan DePaoli '18 (photos by Michael P. Doherty and Josh McKee).
Dean Rosenberg '18 (left) and Dan DePaoli '18 (photos by Michael P. Doherty and Josh McKee).

Hamilton College infielder Dean Rosenberg '18 and pitcher Dan DePaoli '18 lead a five-person senior class into the 2018 baseball season.

Pitchers Mike Borek '18, Charlie Lynn '18 and Spencer Vogelbach '18 join Rosenberg and DePaoli in their final year of collegiate baseball this spring. Rosenberg, DePaoli and infielder David Braverman '19 are the team captains.

The Continentals won 15 games, including a 7-5 triumph against SUNY Oswego on April 5, in 2017. The Lakers were ranked in the Top 10 in both Division III polls at the time. Hamilton also posted a 12-3 victory against Utica College in the 30th playing of the Jackie Robinson Game. 

The schedule is highlighted by 11 games in eight days in Florida in March. The Continentals are slated to play a dozen home games at the 2-year-old Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex. Wesleyan visits the Hamilton campus for a three-game NESCAC West Division series on April 13 and 14, and Middlebury travels to Clinton for a three-game divisional set on April 27 and 28. Bates comes to Hamilton for a rare meeting between the two programs on April 17. The Bobcats are part of the NESCAC East Division.

The 33-player roster features 15 newcomers, some of whom will have a shot at the starting lineup. Graduation took six position players who started last year and five of those six were regulars throughout their careers with the Continentals. Outfielder Ryan Wolfsberg '17 was a two-time all-conference selection and is the program's all-time leader in hits, homers, total bases, runs batted in, batting average and slugging percentage. Second baseman Chris Collins '17 was all-NESCAC and all-region in the New England Region according to D3baseball.com in 2017. Andrew Haser '17, Kenny Collins '17 and Brett Mele '17 are all among Hamilton's career leaders in at least one offensive category, and Haser and Mele hold season records for RBI and triples, respectively.

Rosenberg (20 hits, 15 runs in 2017) has seen significant playing time since his freshman year. Fellow infielder Jordan Northrup '19 (.266/.333./362) had 25 hits and scored 14 runs in 29 games last year. Graham McOsker '20 (8-for-23, 3 XBH) and Ian Nish '19 (8-for-35 , 16 games) played significant roles in 2017 as well. Craig Sandford '19 (9-for-36, 17 games) is the lone returning catcher. Nate Goodman '20 (10-for-39, 3 XBH, 15 games) and Sam Rowley '20 (16 AB, 11 games) are the only returners who saw action in the outfield. John Carey '19 has been a valuable pinch runner his first two years with the Continentals.

DePaoli is the leading returner on the mound. He went 3-5 with 38 strikeouts and a 3.19 earned run average in 42.1 innings pitched last year. DePaoli was named the NESCAC Pitcher of the Week March 27 of last year after he shut out Bowdoin 3-0 in Florida on four hits over seven innings and fanned 10. Vogelbach, who missed most of 2017 due to injury, was one of the team's top pitchers as a freshman and a sophomore. Brett Sandford '19 (3.75 ERA, 12 IP) and Carter King '19 (6.55 ERA, 11 IP) tied for the team lead with 12 appearances apiece. Tom Riley '20 (3.68 ERA, 7.1 IP) recorded the staff's lone save and Chris Keane '20 (2-0, 4.42 ERA, 18.1 IP) pitched in nine games, including six times out of the bullpen. Brian Lawson '20 will provide added depth to the relief corps.