Despite Rainy Preseason, Obies Remain Hopeful

Tyler Sloan, Editor in Chief

The baseball team will hit the road this weekend for its first games of the season. This spring the Yeomen welcome 10 first-years to their roster, pushing the total number to 39 players. Coming off a successful 22–21 season and boasting a talented pool of returning players, the Yeomen have set high expectations for themselves in the upcoming season.

Oberlin’s last season ended in the semifinal round of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament against Allegheny College in a heart breaking 6–5 loss. Though the defeat was a tough one to swallow for the team, the successful season set a handful of new Oberlin baseball records with 22 wins and the first tournament appearance in Oberlin history.

“My main goal going into this season is to win a conference championship. For all the success we had last year, we still have an empty trophy case to serve as a reminder to the years of mediocre Oberlin baseball teams,” said junior first baseman Danny Baldocchi. “Blowing a lead in the semifinal last year was tough, but I believe that experience helped us to mentally prepare for this season and should help us bring back a victory.”

Baldocchi led the team in both slugging percentage and home runs last spring. He made 19 starts last year, and hit four home runs, while posting a triple slash line of .312/.353/.545.

Although the season is quickly approaching, poor weather conditions have not allowed for ideal preparation heading into the first game. With temperatures lingering around 30 degrees for the majority of the team’s preseason, the Yeomen are anxiously awaiting the first time they’ll get to hit the field.

“The indoor practices are the most demoralizing thing to have happen to a team. You wait and wait, and it seems like the weather never breaks. We are lucky to have a great indoor facility, but obviously baseball is meant to be played outside,” said Head Coach Adrian Abrahamowicz.

This frustration was expressed by many of the other Yeomen as well. While no one denied the difficulty that the weather has posed for the team, many of the Yeomen are focusing on the positive and trying to remain optimistic.

Sophomore pitcher Jesse Kohler pointed out that all teams in the conference are currently facing similar conditions.

“Every team in our division has the same disadvantages that Ohio and Western PA weather present. I don’t like to look at problems, so I think that we have done everything that we can do in Philips [gym] and the weight room as a team to be able to be prepared for when we are finally able to go outside,” he said.

Kohler enters this year after a breakout season in 2013, in which he finished third on the team with a 3.82 ERA.

Senior Mike McDonald adds depth for the Yeomen and will look to improve on a season in which he led the team with 41 strikeouts.

Catching for the Yeomen this season will be sophomores Brian Hemmert, Colin Brown and Blaise Dolcemaschio. Dolcemaschio, a Los Angeles native, will headline this trio after making 23 starts in his rookie year, and has set his goals high for this season.

“I can tell our minds are focused on game one this weekend. We’ll be ready,” Dolcemaschio said.

The Yeomen will play their first game this Saturday, March 8 in Avon, OH, at the All Pro Freight Stadium against D’Youville College. After spending spring break in Arizona playing 10 games in five days, Oberlin will finally commence its conference play with a home game against Hiram College on Saturday, March 29.