PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown baseball team will kick off the 2018 campaign this weekend when the Bears visit Florida A&M for a four-game series. Brown will start the season on Friday with a single game starting at 4 PM.
2018 Season Preview
The Bears will return 22 letterwinners from last year's team, including a pair of All-Ivy selections in Sam Grigo and Cameron Deere, as Grant Achilles heads into his fourth full season as head coach of the Bears.
"This team brings the most depth and talent to College Hill in recent years, with contributions anticipated from veterans and newcomers alike," said Achilles. "We have seen competition across the board among pitchers and position players each day, and our schedule leading into Ivy League play should both test and prepare us for our conference slate. Our staff and players are excited to continue working towards our goal of representing Brown, and the Ivy League, in the 2018 NCAA Tournament."
The Bears will have no shortage of experience at infield this season, starting with the duo of Rich Ciufo and Willy Homza, as both played all 37 games in 2017 and will form a solid foundation up the middle or on the left side. Rookie Louis Gaitley will look to make an immediate impact after an accomplished career at St. Ignatius College Prep, where he was named First Team All-League.
Cameron Deere and Hunter Carey will challenge for playing time at first base and designated hitter. Deere earned All-Ivy honors at utility player as a rookie last season, splitting time between second base and DH, and finished with a .392 average in league play. Carey will make his debut with the Bears this spring after transferring from UMass Amherst, while Jake Rosander will also push for playing time at first base.
Brian Ginsberg heads into his senior season will plenty of games under his belt, appearing at multiple positions over the past three years, while Elliot Ginns will also look to add depth in the infield.
Sam Grigo will headline the outfield this season, moving over to center after starting all 37 games in right last season, when he earned All-Ivy accolades after recording a team high 47 hits. Grigo has increased his batting average each year over the past three seasons and hit .313 in 2017.
The combination of Garett Delano, Calvin Farris and Joe Lomuscio will round out the corner spots. Delano started all 37 games and paced the team in doubles and home runs with five starts on the mound, while Farris split time between the outfield, DH and the bullpen. Lomuscio, an All-League selection at Roxbury Latin, will also add speed in the field and on the base paths, while veterans Dalton Schroeder and Frank Caprio will add depth in the outfield.
Mark Sluys will aim to lead the Bears behind the plate. He jumped out to a great start last season, hitting .636 in the opening series before missing the rest of the season due to injury, but then earned First Team All-NECBL honors with the Winnepausaukee Muskrats over the summer.
Senior Reid Anderson will headline the starting rotation to open the season. He led the Bears with 41 strikeouts last season and ranked third on the club in innings pitched.
Fellow right-handers Collin Garner and Will Tomlinson and Delano will bolster the rotation as the Ivy League moves to a three-game format in league play. Tomlinson had a solid freshman year last season with 13 overall appearances, including three starts with a pair of wins, while Delano started five games as a rookie.
Brown will boast a deep and talented bullpen, starting with a veteran group of Bobby Leyman, Dante Bosnic and JJ Sliepka, who combined for 35 relief appearances last season. Vasquez will be added to the mix as another early option out of the bullpen.
Brown will turn to Grant Greeno and Pat Petteruti as lefty options in relief, while Dustin Baird, Ryland Pade and Ryan Fisch will add even more depth to the bullpen as the league moves to play three nine-inning contests.
Brown will continue its season-opening 14-game road swing next weekend when the Bears visit California for a four-game set.