The Farmingdale State baseball team was featured in D3Baseball.com's New York Regional preview for the upcoming 2014 season.
Keith Osik's Farmingdale State Rams look to continue their dominance over the rest of the Skyline Conference this season as they go in search of their seventh consecutive league championship. The Rams have won six Skyline titles in a row dating back to the 2008 season and have not missed the NCAA tournament since 2007. Last spring, the Rams overcame a 1-6 start which included a 15-0 loss in their season opener to finish the regular season on a 24-4 run which included a stellar 15-1 mark in the conference. Manager Keith Osik also recorded his 200th career win.
The strength for the defending Skyline champions will be on the mound with conference ace Michael Dolce (6-1, 0.75 ERA, 59.2 IP, 44 K) and James Powers (5-2, 2.21 ERA, 36.2 IP, 27 K). Alex Weingarten (3-2, 4 SV, 2.47 ERA, 18 App, 51.0 IP, 27 K) is projected to join those two in the starting rotation after splitting time between starting and relieving last season. The Rams' starting trio of twirlers should comprise one of the best pitching rotations in the conference and in the region. Overall, Farmingdale's pitching staff returns all but one arm from last year's group which compiled a 3.31 team ERA and a nearly 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Pitching and defense will be important for Farmingdale with an offense that must replace four of its top eight hitters. The biggest shoes to fill will come from 2013 Skyline Player of the Year David Zilnicki (.434, 53 H, 44 R, 24 RBI, 29 BB, 37 SB, .552 OBP, .541 SLG) who led the team in nearly every offensive category. Attempting to fill the void will be utility man Dalton McCarthy (.316, 37 H, 27 RBI, 23 BB, 17 SB), Anthony Alvino (.267, 39 H, 30 RBI, 27 R, 20 SB), Tom Rydzewski (.395, 30 H, 19 R, 15 SB) and Edward Bergmann (.299, 26 H, 18 R, 14 SB, 11 RBI). The Rams will boast a youthful batting order which should include just two seniors and may include as many as two freshmen.
In his ninth season as head coach, Osik has put together perhaps his most daunting schedule yet. The Rams will tangle with 2013 national runner-up Southern Maine, Eastern Connecticut (twice), Marietta, Birmingham-Southern and Division I Hofstra in addition to their league slate.
To view the complete D3Baseball.com press release, click HERE.
By John McGraw for D3baseball.com