2017 Baseball Season Preview

2017 Baseball Season Preview

Poll Position
The Cougars were picked to finish sixth in the 2017 preseason New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) poll by a vote of the league's head coaches.

Another Go Around
Head coach J.P. Pyne returns to the first seat in the Clark dugout after his inaugural campaign which saw him lead Clark to a school-record 18 wins within a few out of the program's first postseason berth since 2010.

The Four Horsemen
The Scarlet and White return a host of student-athletes from a season ago, including their top four starting pitchers. Patrick Robinson (Watertown, Conn.), Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.), Mike Tice (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Conor Walsh (Barnstable, Mass.) all return to the mound in 2017. That foursome combined for 16 of the team's 18 wins a season ago and 141 strikeouts.

Don't Sleep On Slep
Cal Slepkow
had a standout first year on the bump for the Scarlet and White. He finished with a 4-1 overall record with a 3.49 ERA, while collecting a save and leading the NEWMAC in strikeouts (53).

Tice Is Nice
In addition to Slepkow's memorable first campaign, classmate Mike Tice was as equally as impressive. He set a school record for wins in a season, going 7-0 with a 3.23 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 47.1 innings of work.

The Hits Just Kept Coming …
Kyle Bonicki
(Waterbury, Conn.) had a season for the ages in 2016. He set several school records and not only led the NEWMAC in batting (.466) but that average was the fourth highest in the country last season.

… And Coming, And Coming …
After setting a school record for hits in a season last year (68), Kyle Bonicki went on to set the record for hits in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) over the summer (75).

… And Then The Awards Rolled In
With a season like that under his belt, Kyle Bonicki scooped up first-team all-conference honors, a Worcester Area Baseball First-Team selection, Clark University Male Student-Athlete of the Year accolades and was named to the FCBL All-Star Team.

Right Down The Middle
The 34 student-athletes that comprise the 2017 Clark University baseball roster is exactly 50 percent freshman. There are only three seniors - Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.), Joe Gouveia (Nashua, N.H.) and Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, Maine) – and one graduate student, Chris Dibble (Manchester, Conn.).

The Number Is Shrinking
After a pair of incredible seasons, Kyle Bonicki is just 56 hits away from breaking the school's all-time record for hits in a career, currently held by John Galvin (159), who starred for the Cougars from 1999-2002.

Teddy Ballgame
Junior Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) was one of just three returning student-athletes to appear in all 39 games a season ago (Bonicki and Hutchinson were the others). Downing finished his sophomore campaign by setting a school record for at-bats in a season (153) and played flawlessly in right field, handling all 63 chances without an error.

You Start, You Finish
The 2016 Cougars were 14-8 when they scored first and when they led after eight innings, they were a perfect 12-0.

Home Cooking
The Scarlet and White open the season with a pair of single games over the weekend, then visit Florida where they will play nine more contests. They then return home to embark on an 11-game homestand which includes the beginning of league play with a twinbill against Emerson March 25. Overall, the Cougars will play 19 of their 39 games at home and nine more in sunny Florida.

2017 Baseball Season Preview
February 25, 2017 2017 Baseball Season Preview