The 2012 College Baseball season kicks off Friday night under the Lights at UCF for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. UCF will be opening a new stadium renovation this evening and our guys are eager for the challenge of the #21 ranked Knights.
Junior RHP Chris Franzese will get the ball for the Blackbirds in Game 1.Franzese is coming off a stellar 2011 campaign that saw him win 7 games and earn a spot on the 1st team All NEC squad. 2011 Johnny Bench Award Finalist Catcher Tyler Jones leads an improved LIU Brooklyn offense into the weekend. CF Pete Leonello and 2B Brad Greve will be looked upon to set the table for the Blackbirds. The middle of our line up has some proven run producers in it with Jones, Walsh and JUCO transfer Chris Untereiner. Returning players Tito Marrero, Albert Faz, Julian Castro and Mike Garcia have had strong Fall and Spring seasons so far and will be productive for us. new comer Freshman Jesse Brown has shown some tremendous power between the Fall and Spring and will also see a lot of time in the DH slot when not catching or playing 3B.
Overall we feel like we have a better club than the team that set a school record for wins in 2011 and made an NEC Tournament appearance. The college baseball season is a long one, filled with ups and downs. we remind our guys every day that it’s a marathon not a sprint. The experience of playing a Nationally ranked program like UCF out of the gate is key for our club. Although we are different, there are a lot of similarities between us and UCF. UCF in 2011 made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in I believe 7 years. we made our first NEC Tournament appearance in 11 years. UCF is trying to reach a Super Regional in 2012 while we are looking to take that next step and go to a Regional. although different, this is a tale of two hungry programs on the rise.