MCCC Baseball Team Enters 2017 Season Ranked No. 3 Nationally
From left, Nick Dabrio, Denny Brady, Anthony Peroni, Andrea DiPiazza, Jordan Gonzalez and Vinny Vaccone are all expected to score big for the Vikings this season.
West Windsor, N.J. – In 2016, the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) baseball team ended its season just one game away from advancing to the championship bracket in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series. This year, the Vikings plan to continue their winning ways.
The pollsters agree with that plan.
The NJCAA announced its pre-season rankings based on division predictions, placing Mercer no. 3 among the top 20 Division II baseball programs in the country.
Head Coach Kevin Kerins, who returns for his sixth season, is excited to be starting off on such a positive note. “It’s a tremendous honor for our players and our program to be this highly ranked. But, as with each year, there is lot of work ahead to live up to these high expectations," Kerins said.
According to Kerins, this year’s team returns several players from last year’s 51-10 World Series squad. “We are looking for those players to provide leadership and assist new players in responding to our high standards, as well as the challenging schedule we have put in place,” he said.
The 2017 roster will be led by returning National Junior College Pitcher of Year and Major League Baseball draftee Andrew DiPiazza and East Carolina transfer student Denny Brady. In addition, several players who have already signed with prominent Division I four-year schools for next year are expected to be top producers.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the Vikings have been ranked in the top 5 nationally. They have gone to the World Series in two of the past three years and in both of those years, MCCC pitchers have been named National Junior College Pitcher of Year (DiPiazza and Heath Fillmyer). In five of the past six years, Vikings pitchers have been drafted by Major League Baseball.
The Vikings open their season on Feb. 21 in an away game against Cumberland County College. They head south during Spring Break in March to participate in the Ripken Experience tournament in Myrtle Beach, SC. Their first regular season home game is on March 18 when they face Rockland (NY) in a doubleheader starting at noon. The full schedule is available at www.mccc.edu/athletics.
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