Lesley men’s baseball has only been in existence for six years, and with each new season, there are more reasons for optimism. This year, the Lynx made great progress; it was statistically the best season in program history, with more wins than in previous years– in fact, the team’s 19 wins easily surpassed its previous record of 14. Over all, the men’s baseball team finished with a record of 19-21, with a 10-8 record against conference opponents. What the baseball team did this year was impressive, especially due to the fact that the program is so young. Leadership, camaraderie, belief, and a passion for the game is what fueled their success on the field.
Led by manager Billy Cather, the team received an overhaul of new players, with thirteen freshman coming in. A large influx of new players usually presents some challenges, in terms of creating team cohesion on the field; but this transition was seamless for the Lynx. With the experience and leadership of captains Kolby Mitchell and Casey Blanchard, the new players came into the program without skipping a beat. Not only did they come together as a team, but some of the freshman proved to have a huge impact on the season. Great examples of the talented young players are freshman pitcher Ryan Pumphret and catcher Jacob Cervantes. They both were able to make an impact almost immediately, and not be intimidated by the heightened skill and physicality of college baseball; their great play eventually earned them First Team All-Conference honors. This starting duo made it a nightmare for anyone who was up at bat. Pumphret tormented opposing hitters, earning “Rookie of the Week” twice. He had a respectable .412 pitching average, the second best in the league. And contrary to the myth that pitchers can’t hit, he also did well at the plate, with five runs and thirteen runs batted in (4th most in conference). Jacob Cervantes too had a great season at bat, hitting .345 with nine RBI and 12 runs scored in conference play.
This achievements of the freshmen did not outshine the success of their more experienced teammates; this record-breaking season was a real team effort, and everyone played an important part. J.P. Agiorgousis, Mike Slaby, and Gustavo Polidor were three upperclassmen who received All-Conference awards during the season. J.P. had a batting average of .395 while being perfect in right field, committing zero errors. Mike Slaby, earning Second Team honors, set career-highs in nearly every statistical category. Senior Gustavo Polidor was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team, finishing conference play with a .309 average with nine runs scored and 4 RBI. While not taking away from these players’ accomplishments, it is important to once again mention that team chemistry really contributed to what the Lynx accomplished. Nick Iadevaio agrees, stating “Team chemistry was definitely one of the most important aspects in our success this season. We are great friends off the field and really enjoy playing baseball with each other. I think that this, combined with our collective determination to win games, is really what fueled our season.”
If this past season is any indication, it shows great promise for the future of the men’s baseball team. This is a program that has continued to grow and improve since its creation in 2011. That year, the team was winless after their first season; but they never gave up, and they were determined to get better. The team has steadily improved year by year, showing no signs of slowing down. With so much youth on the team, and players who have gotten valuable experience, there is no doubt that the men’s baseball team will continue to win even more games in the upcoming seasons.