CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team is ready to begin their 2017 regular season as they open up at home against Puget Sound with a three-game series beginning on Friday, February 3rd at 2:00 p.m.
Head Coach Frank Pericolosi's squad ended 2016 with a 20-19 overall record while they finished fifth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with a 20-19 conference record.
Pomona-Pitzer finished last season with the highest team average in the SCIAC as they batted a .334 average and finished third in the conference in hits (464) and RBI (271). Coming back to lead that offensive unit will be seniors Tanner Nishioka and Kevin Jordan.
Nishioka was voted as a D3Baseball.com Preseason All-American for the 2017 season as he finished last year with All-American Honorable Mention honors as well as First Team All-West and First Team All-SCIAC honors. Nishioka led the Sagehens with a .418 average and drove in 36 runners while scoring 48 of his own.
Jordan will lead the Sagehens from behind the plate this season as he started 36 games last season in the catcher position. He hit for a .338 average to go along with 24 RBI and led the team with 28 walks.
Pomona-Pitzer also returns three returning senior pitchers in David Gerics, Casey Hershfield and Steven Glick. Gerics will come into the season as the Sagehen's ace. He earned Third Team All-West honors during his junior season to go along with First Team All-SCIAC honors. He made 12 appearances last season and tallied a perfect 7-0 record with one save and a 2.31 earned run average.
Hershfield saw most of his innings in a relief role last season as the lefty appeared in 15 games, earned one win and tallied 29 strikeouts, which is third most among returning pitchers for this season. Glick saw limited time last season as a junior as he appeared in five games in a relief role but will play a major role this season in the Sagehens' bullpen.
Pomona-Pitzer returns a heavy loaded junior class as the team has eight returners coming back from a season ago. Nicholas Radich and Peyton Holm return to the pitching staff for 2017 as Radich will work out of the starting rotation this season as Holm will see time out of the bullpen. Radich started 10 games last season for the Sagehens and was second on the time in strikeouts with 32 and tallied a 5-4 record. Holm appeared in five games last season while making one start but will see more innings this upcoming season.
A key returner this season for the Sagehens will be junior Bryce Rogan. Rogan had a breakout sophomore season as he was named First Team All-SCIAC and finished second among returners with a .365 average and drove in a team-high 52 RBI. Also coming back for his junior year is junior infielder Matt Omori. Omori earned Second Team All-SCIAC honors a season ago and will be an everyday option in the infield this season for the Sagehens.
Hulse returns as the Sagehens primary first baseman this season. He was fourth among returning players with a .358 average while he drove in 23 runners and scored 31 runs himself. Simsiman will see time behind the plate as the second catcher as well as find time in the designated hitters spot this season. Hinthorne and Skerrett will work their way into the outfield this season as both of them saw significant playing time there last year.
Sophomore Jeremy Burton spent time in the middle infield last season as a freshman in 15 games and will give the Sagehens some experience up the middle. Fellow sophomore infielders Tavish Towner and Andrew Phillips will also give the Sagehens depth on defense while outfielder Neil Kelly and newcomer Peter Troupe will work their way into the outfield this season. Andrew Brown comes in as a returner from the bullpen last season to provide the Sagehens with a valuable arm coming out of the pen.
Pomona-Pitzer brings in a huge freshman class with 18 incoming new players. The newcomers will fill some key spots this season and look to contribute in their first collegiate seasons. The freshmen class is comprised of 10 new pitching options for the Sagehens heading into 2017 which will give them some much needed depth coming out of their bullpen.
The Sagehens will host their first 10 non-conference games of their season before entering SCIAC play against Chapman on February 24th.