March 5, 2004

Baseball Opens Season

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During the offseason, the baseball team lost star pitcher David Scharfstein ’03 to graduation and former Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Chris Schutt ’04 to the MLB draft.

But the Red isn’t worried.

“Three of our consistent starters are returning,” said senior co-captain Dan Parant, “so we are very confident in our staff and its depth.”

The trio of returning starters will be put to the test right away this weekend when the Red travels to Philadelphia to face LaSalle today and Sunday, and Villanova tomorrow.

Senior Dan Gala, the probable starter for today’s game at LaSalle, had a solid 2003 season going 3-3 in seven starts and posting 26 strikeouts with just four walks in 42 2/3 innings pitched. Sophomore Rocky Collins, the probable starter against Villanova, had a strong freshman campaign, going 3-2 in six starts, including a complete game, while compiling just a 3.26 ERA. The probable starter on Sunday, senior Luke Staskal, had a team-leading 15 appearances last year, all in relief, and posted 20 strikeouts in just 20 innings of work.

Yet the Red, which went 16-20-1 and 9-11 in the Ivy League last season, had some struggles at the plate. Fortunately for the Red, many of the statistical leaders are returning this season.

Parant was the catalyst for the offense, batting first in the order and leading the team with a .283 batting average. His average was .250 with eight home runs and 69 extra-base hits.

“We’ve prepared very well and we’ve been working very hard inside swinging the bats,” Parant said.

If the Red is to improve offensively, the anchor of the offense last season, senior outfielder Ned VanAllan, will most likely be a large contributor. VanAllan led the team in hits (38), RBIs (17), and total bases (56), while compiling a .406 slugging percentage with two homers.

The Red will take its revamped team on the road over the next month, making two trips to Philadelphia, a spring break trip to California, and Penn State, before coming home to open the Ivy schedule against Harvard on Apr. 5.

Archived article by Chris Mascaro