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2011 Preview: MCCC Baseball


West Windsor, N.J. - -- Spring is in the air - or at least seems to be - when the crack of the bat and the echo of the catcher's mitt can be heard from the Mercer fields. Vikings baseball is scheduled to open its 2011 season tomorrow, March 1, with a home game against Gloucester.

Winners of last year's Garden State Athletic Conference, the Vikings are looking to improve on their 17-13 record and advance further in the Region 19 Playoffs in 2011. (Their 2010 season ended in the Region 19 semi-final play-in round when they lost to rival Burlington CC.) They have extra motivation to advance this season as Mercer will host the Region 19 Tournament May 13-15.

Coach Matt Wolski returns six sophomores. He also has a great deal of confidence in his freshman class. The pitching rotation is set, with sophomore right-hander Brian Sigle (Plainsboro, NJ/West Windsor North High School) and rookie right-hander James Pugliese (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert High School) expected to lead the Vikings' rotation. Big performances at the plate and in the field are also expected from two rookies, outfielder Ian Moyer (Chesterfield, NJ/Northern Burlington High School) and infielder Michael Constantini (Yardville, NJ/Steinert High School). Both are coming off impressive American Legion seasons this past summer.

If weather is any indication, the season is already off to a better start than last year, when bad weather forced the cancellation of the Vikings' first eight games. Tomorrow's forecast calls for sunshine.

Wolski will be assisted this season by Fred Carella and Kevin Kerins.

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