Anthony Del Prete seeks consistent baseball season

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It’s March, which means Bostonians are one step closer to sunshine and bearable weather. It also means that baseball season is on the horizon, and for the Rams, opening day couldn’t come any sooner.

Anthony Del Prete will be managing the Rams for his début season as head coach. Del Prete, who graduated from Suffolk in 2004, was a staple on the mound during his years as a student. This will be his first managerial role, and he is extremely qualified. After graduating, Del Prete quickly made the transition to the coaching staff in 2005, helping to guide the team to the NCAA tournament.

Del Prete will be filling some big shoes this season. Former head coach Cary McConnell, who has been with the athletic program since 1996, was tabbed last semester as the university’s new Athletic Director, effectively ending his tenure as the baseball team’s skipper.

McConnell, in his 18 seasons as the Rams manager, won 453 games and captured the Jack Butterfield award for his dedication and integrity to the game. McConnell is also a Suffolk Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, with his 2000 season being highlighted. The team won 38 games and paced NCAA division three teams with a 2.69 ERA and 401 strikeouts.

Rightfully so, Del Prete’s expectations for the team are lofty, considering the program’s recent success.

“Expectations are to continue to maintain the consistency we have had as a program and to push to be one of the top Division III programs in New England,” Del Prete said.

And after last year, maintaining what the team has been able to do of late would be an accomplishment in and of itself. In the 2014 season, the Rams were crowned the ECAC champions after defeating Roger Williams University in the finals.

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

“We graduated 10 players from last year but return a good number of players who we will look to count on to keep us moving forward,” Del Prete said. “Winning the ECAC championship last year should be a good stepping-stone to future success for our team and program.”

And if you’re looking for an MLB comparison, think of the 2014 World Champions.

“Hopefully we’ll be like the [San Francisco] Giants … We should be deep on the mound, young and strong in the middle of our lineup,” said Del Prete.

With transfer student Kyle Turner and sophomore Tim Conroy at the top of the rotation, and senior Josh Desai coming out of the back of the bullpen, the Rams look strong on the bump.

On the other side of the ball, men’s baseball looks imposing once again.

“Offensively, we’ll count on senior JC Collette, junior Jon Lapolla and sophomore Matt Brenner,” said Del Prete. “Junior Rob Marks and sophomore Luke Ronchi will anchor the outfield.”

He also lauded the team’s leadership, dubbing seniors Frank Tierney and Paul Pollano as the roster’s spearheads. Hopefully, the team will share similar success to that of the Giants.

The Rams will return to Massachusetts and play at MIT on March 17. The team’s first home game will be March 21, in a double-header against Rhode Island College.