WEST WINDSOR – Five players on the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) baseball team are ranked among the top junior college players in the nation which, combined with one of the toughest schedules in Division II baseball, portends an exciting season for the Vikings.
“We hope to improve on our 32-15 season last year, and our no. 12 national ranking,” said MCCC Head Baseball Coach Kevin Kerins. “We have an excellent group of returning sophomores, as well as several freshmen who will make an immediate impact.”
Five of those returning sophomores were recently named by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as among the top junior college baseball players in the nation:
- Pitcher Joe DiGiovanni (Hunterdon Central High School) was 5-0 last year, with several key relief appearances. He will be used exclusively as a starter in the upcoming season.
- Pitcher/designated hitter Heath Fillmyer (Florence Township Memorial High School) was drafted in the 28th round by the Colorado Rockies following his freshman season, but he has chosen to return to Mercer for his sophomore year. During a recent Scout Day, Fillmyer’s fastball was clocked at 95 mph.
- Catcher Andrew Immordino (Steinert High School) hit .360 in his freshman year, and provided solid defense behind the plate.
- Outfielder Mark Tomei (South Plainfield High Schol) was a first team all-region selection last year, and was nominated as an All-American. He was the highest ranked freshman player in the region for the 2013 season.
- Pitcher Ben Stine (North Hunterdon High School) had a solid year for the Vikings in 2013, and will take over as the team’s weekend starter. His fastball was clocked at 89 mph during Scout Day.
Kerins said the experience and talent of this year’s team will be crucial, considering the demanding schedule just released by the team. Included in the schedule are overnight trips to Maryland, and the team’s annual spring trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Myrtle Beach Invitational, March 14-20. Thirty out of the team’s 56 games are against previously ranked opponents.
“The 2014 schedule should provide our players with the necessary game experience and exposure to prepare us for post-season play and to prepare them to further their baseball career at four-year schools,” Kerins said.
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