West Windsor, N.J. - Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) baseball team is slated to return to the field this September and October as the team has announced its Fall 2019 practice season schedule.
Head Coach Fred Carella and his team have been eager to get back to work at Mercer’s facilities. This summer, Mercer renovated its baseball field by installing a turf infield, which will bring the grounds in line with those of top baseball programs in the country.
“The fall season will be Mercer’s first chance to break in the field,” Carella said. “And given the improved drainage of the turf, we should be able to get a good amount of practice in even if the weather is disagreeable.”
Adding to Carella’s enthusiasm is the lineup of games the team has scheduled. The Vikings will face a pair of National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I programs in Rider University (Saturday, Sept. 28) and Villanova (Saturday, Oct. 12). Mercer will also play exhibitions against NCAA Division II Westchester University (Sunday, Sept. 29) as well as Division III’s Chestnut Hill (Saturday, Sept. 21), Arcadia (Saturday, Oct. 5) and New Jersey City (Saturday, Oct. 19) Universities.
“Any time you can get field hours competing against high-level talent at four-year schools, you take it,” Carella said. “Our guys continue to play after they transfer, so these games are important learning opportunities.”
Another key date is Wednesday, Oct. 9, when Mercer hosts its annual Scout Day. The event is an opportunity for players to meet with college coaches and Major League Baseball scouts. In years past, Viking players have been offered scholarships on the spot.
The team will also host a golf outing at the Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, N.J. The annual fundraiser directly supports the baseball team’s player development goals.
“Our preparation for the 2020 season starts now,” Carella said. “The fall season might not count towards the standings, but it’s as important as anything else our team does in the spring.”