FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
DAYTON, Ohio – Looking to build on the momentum they had in 2008, the University of Dayton baseball team will take to the diamond for the first time in 2009 on Feb. 20. DaytonFlyers.com will preview the ’09 squad over the course of the next two weeks in a four part series featuring the infield, outfield, catchers and pitchers.
A key influence to the Flyers’ success this season rests heavily on their veteran infield. Senior Marshall MacDonald at first base helped turn a team-high 35 double-plays last season for UD. MacDonald was also a potent threat on offense smacking eight home runs last season while averaging .306 at the plate and leading the team with 42 RBI’s.
“Marshall is a proven hitter,” said head coach Tony Vittorio. “He will be relied upon to hit in the middle of the order for us.”
At shortstop, junior Cole Tyrell expects to be a formidable force up the middle. Tyrell’s poise at shortstop helped the Flyers to 27 double plays last season. In addition, Tyrell cranked out 64 hits for a .305 average last season. Tyrell was also a threat to steal, finishing 2008 with nine swiped bags, second most on the team.
“Cole is a very athletic shortstop and has the ability to be one of best all-around players on this year’s team,” said Vittorio.
Third basemen Ryan Nevill returns for his final year, as a battle tested defensive force. Nevill assisted on 79 outs last season turning five double-plays for the Flyers. Nevill tied for second ripping 11 doubles for UD after playing in all 56 games played last season.
“Ryan is a proven defensive specialist,” said Vittorio. “He has made strides in the off-season to complete his overall game.”
Junior college transfer Zach Jacob is expected to make an immediate impact on this year’s team. Jacob is a transfer from San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. who is fundamentally sound both offensively and defensively.
Sophomore Jimmy Roesinger will also challenge for an infield spot this season. In 2008, Roesinger hit .252 with 25 runs, leading the team with three triples on the year.
“Jimmy provides veteran experience to the infield,” said Vittorio. “He will be able to compete for multiple spots in the infield this season. Also, Brian Blasik, Joe Dorocak and Chad Opalich will all provide solid depth in the infield for us this year.”
The Flyers open the 2009 slate on the road against the High Point Panthers on Feb. 20 at 4:00 p.m. ET.