By Pat Mariboe
The Shoremen kicked off their season with a double-header sweep against Lancaster Bible this past Saturday with a 6-2 win in the first game and a thrilling 4-3 win in the second.
Heading into the matchup, junior Luke D’Ostilio said he was confident of his team’s ability and was determined to start off the season 2-0.
“We have been working hard all year in preparation for Saturday and I’m really looking forward to seeing our hard work pay off,” he said. “I think Coach Beddick and the rest of the coaching staff has done a phenomenal job in preparing us for Saturday and the rest of the season. I think Saturday will be a good test to see how ready we actually are. If we compete to the best of our ability and play hard as a unit, it’ll be very hard to beat us.”
Junior Nick Roberti shared similar optimism heading into the weekend.
“This weekend’s matchup is one that the team’s been looking forward to since we started fall practice last semester,” Roberti said. “We’re all excited to get started on the right foot and compete to rack up a couple of W’s. Coach Beddick and the staff have helped us develop– with a lot of hard work and long days– towards a championship–caliber team, and we’re ready to work our tails off for the next few months to make that goal a reality. Though we haven’t played Lancaster Bible since my arrival here, I’m sure it’ll be a great match up and I know the guys are ready to get out there and grind.”
D’Ostilio is one of the five team captains this season, along with seniors Joe Lozupone, P.J. Mikulus, Nick Popolizio, and Matt Tancredi.
“It truly is an honor being elected as one of the team captains,” D’Ostilio said. “I believe that I was always a leader by example, and I think one thing that changed in my role is that I have to be a vocal leader as well.”
As Lozupone’s collegiate career comes to a close, he touched on his role as a team captain and his goals for this season.
“The biggest role change I’ve seen by being a captain is that I have to lead by example every day,” Lozupone said. “This is particularly true during our long preseason where guys tend to get tired and lose focus. If I start slacking off, other guys on the team might think it’s OK for them to slack off. This season, the team goal is to make the playoffs and make a run at the Championship. We fully believe we have the talent and capability to accomplish that this year.”
Roberti has been a standout performer for the Shoremen the past few seasons and is eager to see how the rest of his bullpen will perform this season.
“The bullpen is the backbone of any team, and we’re lucky to have a tight-knitted group of hardworking dogs that are ready to do whatever it takes to close out the latter part of our games,” he said. “Between the vets and the younger guys, I know this year’s pen is going to have great success.”
Roberti said he’s confident in the team’s ability to blend the young and the old to produce a winning team under pitching coach Bennett Schiltz’s leadership in the bullpen.
The next game for the Shoremen will be a home double header against Roger Williams at noon and 3 p.m.