LOWELL, MA (July 18, 2008) – Sophomore Matt Lawlor (Dracut, MA) and freshmen Patrick Devlin (Tewksbury, MA) and Vincent DePierro (Tewksbury, MA), each former Merrimack Valley Conference standouts, highlighted UMass Lowell’s 2008-09 incoming class, Head Coach Ken Harring announced Monday.
The class of 19 players – which includes 16 freshmen and three transfers – is the largest in Harring’s tenure as he enters his fifth season at UML.
The River Hawks are fresh of a 26-24 season (18-12 in the Northeast-10 Conference, tied for fourth) which saw them go 23-12 following a 3-12 start. UML advanced to the NE-10 Tournament before suffering an early exit at the hands of Pace University.
The River Hawks are expected to return 20 veterans for next year, including seven starting positional players and eight pitchers (three starters, five relievers).
“This class brings some depth, some athleticism, a lot of quality players who have been at the top of their leagues,” said Harring, who came to UML in 2004 following four seasons at Saint Anselm. “They all come from winning programs. With this class, I think we’ve addressed the needs of what happened this past year with our offense. I think it will be an exciting year. When it is all said and done, this is the best recruiting class I’ve brought in my eight years as a head coach.”
Also joining the River Hawks this fall are five former Cape Ann League all-stars in J.T. Leary (Newburyport, MA), Michael Sloban (Merrimac, MA), Cam Kneeland (Rowley, MA) as well as Vincent DiCesare (Lynnfield, MA) and Phil Perriello (Lynnfield, MA), teammates at Lynnfield H.S.
DiCesare and Perriello are among three sets of high school teammates in the class, which also includes sophomore Steve Lambert (Milton, MA) and freshman Ryan Stoller (Milton, MA), former teammates and Bay State League all-stars at Milton H.S. Also on board are Bryant Guilmette (Hopkinton, MA) and Mark Sanborn (Hopkinton, MA), both Tri-Valley League all-stars at Hopkinton H.S.
Also joining the River Hawks are Mid-Wachusett League standouts Chris Soldi (Clinton, MA), Andrew Staszewski (Maynard, MA) and Matt Jacobs (Hudson, MA); Jack Leathersich (Beverly, MA), a Northeast Conference all-star; Nicholas Conti (Lynn, MA), who starred at St. Mary’s H.S.; and Dallas Nunes (Easton, MA), who was a Hockomock League all-star at Oliver Ames H.S.
Rounding out UML’s class is sophomore Todd Bartelson (Pepperell, MA), who played on UML’s hockey team last year but has opted to join the baseball team. A lefthanded pitcher, Bartelson earned a handful of honors at St. Bernard’s Catholic H.S. in Fitchburg, MA, while also starring in hockey.
Five of the players are expected to redshirt the 2009 season: Sloban, Perriello, DiCesare, Kneeland and DePierro.
A catcher, Lawlor comes to UML from UMass Amherst where he enrolled in 2005, played two games in the 2006 seasons, and is expected to have three years of eligibility. A three-year player at Dracut H.S., Lawlor was a three-time Merrimack Valley Conference all-star and earned MVC Player of the Year honors as a senior.
Devlin, a third baseman/pitcher, and DePierro, a lefthanded pitcher, enjoyed stellar careers at Tewksbury H.S., leading the Redmen to consecutive MVC championships. A three-year starter, Devlin posted a 16-7 record and earned All-MVC honors as a junior and senior. DePierro posted a team-leading 1.00 ERA and earned team most improved honors.
Once opponents, UML’s Cape Ann League contingent is expected to have an immediate impact. Leary was a two-time CAL all-star second baseman who helped lead Newburyport H.S. to a pair of CAL championships. He then went on the Northern Essex Community College and was twice named to the NJCAA All-New England Region Team.
Down the road, Sloban was a three-year righthanded pitcher who earned All-CAL status his junior and senior years as Pentucket enjoyed two appearances in the state tournament. Just to the south, Kneeland was the CAL most valuable player at Triton H.S. where he batted an astounding .520 with 25 RBI and posted a 4-2 record on the mound for the Vikings. Kneeland is slated to play either infield or outfield at UML.
Perriello and DiCesare each earned a plethora of honors at Lynnfield H.S. A four-year pitcher/outfielder, Perriello captained the squad last season and was named the team’s scholar-athlete of the year. A three-year standout outfielder, DiCesare was named to both the CAL and Agannis all-star teams, and also earned Team MVP honors.
Lambert comes to UML after playing last season at Bridgewater State where he batted .364 with 29 runs, 18 RBI and nine doubles as the Bears finished with a 23-15 record (8-6 in the MASCAC, fourth). A 2007 graduate of Milton H.S., Lambert was previously a Bay State League all-star for the Wildcats.
A RHP, Stoller was a rare five-year varsity player at MHS who earned All-Bay State League honors twice and also led his Milton American Legion team to the 2006 state title.
Sanborn and Guilmette each enjoyed stellar careers at Hopkinton H.S. A Tri-Valley League all-star first baseman as a junior and senior, Sanborn graduated as the Hillers’ career home run leader with 15. A southpaw, Guilmette was a two-year standout for the Hillers and also enjoyed a stellar summer with Milford Post 59.
In Jacobs, Soldi and Staszewski, Harring has three players who twice earned Mid-Wachusett League all-star honors. Jacobs was a four-year pitcher/outfielder at Hudson H.S. where he was the MWL co-most valuable player and a Central Mass Division all-star.
Soldi was a four-year starting outfielder at Clinton H.S. where he captained the Gaels as a senior while the RHP Staszewski, also a captain as a senior, left his name in several places in the Nashoba Regional H.S. record book.
Conti comes to Lowell having earned many honors at St. Mary’s H.S., including All-Catholic Central League as a junior and a senior, and was also invited to play in the Agannis Classic this summer. Conti is expected to play either shortstop of third base.
A LHP, Leathersich shattered the career records for wins and strikeouts en route to Northeastern Conference honors at Beverly H.S. He also helped the Northeast Region to the gold medal at the 2007 Bay State Games.
Nunes was a three-year Hockomock League all-star RHP at Oliver Ames H.S. where he guided the tigers to the 2007 state title. En route, he earned South Sectional Tournament MVP honors.
In addition to his hockey plaudits, Bartelson was also a standout pitcher at St. Bernard’s Catholic in Fitchburg, MA, where he was a two-time Central Mass Conference all-star.
|Year||Pos.||Hometown/High School (College)|
|Todd Bartelson||So.||LHP||Pepperell, MA/St. Bernard’s Catholic|
|Nicholas Conti||Fr.||SS/3B||Lynn, MA/St. Mary’s|
|Patrick Devlin||Fr.||3B||Tewksbury, MA/Tewksbury Memorial|
|Vincent DiCesare (R)||Fr.||OF||Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield|
|Vincent DePierro (R)||Fr.||LHP||Tewksbury, MA /Tewksbury Memorial|
|Bryant Guilmette||Fr.||LHP||Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton|
|Matt Jacobs||Fr.||1B/OF/LHP||Hudson, MA/Hudson|
|Cam Kneeland (R)||Fr.||IF/OF||Rowley, MA/Triton Regional|
|Steve Lambert||So.||OF||Milton, MA/Milton (Bridgewater State)|
|Matt Lawlor||So.||C||Dracut, MA/Dracut (UMass)|
|Jack Leathersich||Fr.||LHP||Beverly, MA/Beverly|
|J.T. Leary||Jr.||2B||Newburyport, MA/Newburyport (Northern Essex CC)|
|Dallas Nunes||Fr.||RHP||Easton, MA/Oliver Ames|
|Phil Perriello (R)||Fr.||RHP/OF||Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield|
|Mark Sanborn||Fr.||1B||Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton|
|Michael Sloban (R)||Fr.||RHP||Merrimac, MA/Pentucket Regional|
|Chris Soldi||Fr.||OF||Clinton, MA/Clinton|
|Andrew Staszewski||Fr.||RHP||Bolton, MA/Nashoba Regional|
|Ryan Stoller||Fr.||RHP||Milton, MA/Milton|