While winter is only two weeks away the Hofstra baseball team is eager for spring to blossom with some recent positive developments giving second year head coach Patrick Anderson plenty of optimism for his program in 2010 and beyond.
Some of the exciting news that has unfolded for the Hofstra baseball team in recent months include planned enhancements to University Field for the coming season, an eighth-member recruiting class consisting of top-notch players from around the country, as well as a prized transfer from San Diego State.
The improvements to University Field that are planned for 2010 include 400 new grandstand seats as well as a press box. “We’re so beyond excited about this,” said Coach Anderson of what the facility enhancement will mean for his program.
Playing at the revamped University Field in 2011 will be eight players who Coach Anderson announced on Nov. 25 as part of his latest recruiting class. This renowned group includes Logan Davis (Cave Creek, AZ), Angelo Gargano (Hainesville, IL), Bobby Gazzola (Coram, NY), Kenny Jackson (Ronkonkoma, NY), Everett Keller (Port Washington, NY), Nick Kozlowski (Huntington Station, NY), Matt Reistetter (Hauppauge, NY) and Bryan Verbitsky (Levittown, NY). Anderson is excited for what all these players will bring to the table, especially Davis, who is the son of 1989 National League Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis and can play either infield or pitcher.
“We are beyond ecstatic about every single one of them,” said Anderson of his 2011 recruiting class.
Another new Pride baseball player Anderson is excited about for the 2011 season is San Diego State right fielder transfer T.J. Thomas, who is already enrolled at Hofstra but has to sit out the 2010 season due to NCAA rules. Thomas, a Hicksville native and St. Dominic High School graduate, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2008 before playing two seasons at San Diego State. “This kid is a five-tool outfielder,” said Anderson of Thomas.
As for the upcoming 2010 campaign, Anderson felt the fall season was a helpful for his 17 freshmen getting ready for the college baseball level after having games against New York Tech, Nassau Community College and Suffolk Community College-Eastern Campus. Once the fall season concluded in late October his players began strength training four times a week with pitchers also doing exercises in the swimming pool.
One recent development that was not so positive for Hofstra baseball was the Colonial Athletic Association's (CAA) decision to reduce its playoffs from six teams to four, making it that much harder for the Pride to qualify for the post-season. Since joining the CAA for the 2002 season, Hofstra has only made the conference playoffs once as a sixth seed in 2005. “I look at it as a challenge,” said Anderson of the now dimmer prospects of playing in the CAA playoffs. “We’re going to take the challenge and go after it.”
Hofstra’s first official practice of the 2010 season will be on Jan. 29. The Pride open the 2010 season with a three-game series at Troy University starting on Feb. 19 followed by a trip to Florida State for three games the following weekend. Hofstra’s home opener at the new and improved University Field is scheduled for March 20 against Fairfield at Noon.