Once again, the baseball team began its season with a spring training trip to Florida to play 12 games, seven in conference play.
After several dismal years in Florida, the team erupted. It returned north with eight wins and four losses, a promising beginning for the northern schedule.
This young and talented team proved it was capable of beating quality competition.
It went 4-3 against the University Athletic Association conference during its 10-game run. The Yellowjackets even pulled off upset wins over 10th ranked Emory University.
UR also wrapped up wins against Washington University in St. Louis and Case Western Reserve University.
Led by new coach Dave Palese, the baseball team is hoping it will head back to the NCAAs.
Defense and pitching proved to be the best weapon for the team in Florida, with the pitching staff posting five complete games and one shutout.
The complete games were posted by juniors Brian Schobel, Mike Carletta, Adam Fay and sophomores Justin Davis and Kyle Tallman.
The middle infield defense led by senior Bill Rasmussen and freshman Keith Erazmus proved to be solid.
All-conference shortstop Rasmussen will team up with Erazmus to provide a solid infield for the year.
A trio of sophomores ? Matt Davison, Ryan Hanley and RJ Johnson ? leads the outfield. Johnson, a second-team all-conference player last year, will look for continued success in his sophomore campaign.
At the corners will be junior Kris Kiefer at third and freshman Mike Lesczinki occupying first.
Sharing duties behind the plate are seniors Dan Kernan and Mike Mckinsey.
After the southern trip, Mckinsey leads the team in hits and provides solid leadership behind the dish.
With the northern schedule arriving soon, the Yellowjackets are looking to continue the way they ended last season ? winning their last eight conference games.