Hilbert Nine Hopes for Improved Season

Release Date:
March 3, 2006
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

2006 Baseball Preview

HAMBURG, NY- After a disappointing showing last season, the 2006 Hilbert College baseball team under second-year coach Randy Cialone are preparing for this year’s demanding schedule. The Hawks are looking to improve upon last spring’s 1-24 mark with an early 10 game swing in Fort Pierce, Florida that should prepare them for the rigors of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). The Hawks seven game home schedule will include non-conference opponents St. John Fisher College and Keuka College.

The Hawks are looking to pitching this year to help put them on the winning track as they welcome back junior Glen Ufland (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon) as the squad’s lone returning arm. Ufland made 14 appearances while completing 24 innings with eight strikeouts in 2005. Added to the Hawks rotation this year will be junior Corey Vander Sluis (Syracuse, NY/West Genesee) and freshmen Erik Seeger (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park), John Koniniec (Depew, NY/Depew) and Steve Morasco (Memphis/Jordan Elbridge), a first-team Western New York All-Section III selection as a high school senior.

Making the move to catcher will be sophomore Dallas Reinard (Smethport, PA/Smethport) who hit .271 and was second on the team in put outs (61) while primarily playing first base last year. The 6’3 right-hander also saw some time on the mound where he made seven starts in 2005.

The infield will see several new faces while being anchored by returning senior Adam Koniniec (Depew, NY/Depew) who will move from third base to second base. Junior Josh Cahall (Ripley, OH/Ripley) will press for infield playing time along with freshman Derek Frentz (Little Valley, NY/Little Valley) who could be penciled in to replace graduated short stop Sam Gioia. Junior and first year player Andrew Mancini (Mt. Morris, NY/Mt. Morris) will see time at first base.

Covering the outfield and starting in centerfield will be senior Joe Ferrara (Hamburg, NY/Frontier). “Joe has made a commitment to lead the Hawks both on and off the field”, commented Cialone. “He understands what it’s going to take to add to the one win the team had last year”. Ferrara started 24 of 25 games last year and was tied for the lead in on base percentage (.370). Senior Matt Markott (Angola, NY/Lake Shore) led the team in several offensive categories the last two seasons, and along with junior Matt Taub (West Seneca, NY/Cleveland Hill), will be counted on to stabilize the outfield. Newcomers Brian Napierala (Hamburg, NY/Frontier), Rian McLaughlin (Derby, NY/Tidioute), and freshman Travis Nowicki (DeWittville, NY/Chatauqua Lake) will also push for playing time.

We’ll need to work hard”, added Cialone “but I’m confident with our senior leadership that there will be tremendous improvement in this year’s club. The Hawks are scheduled to play their first home game of 2006 on March 25th against AMCC foe University of Pitt-Greensburg.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.