Cabrini University men’s baseball started their 2023 spring season with their first practice on Monday, Jan 30. The baseball team is coming off a 2022 31-11 record with a 13-5 Atlantic East Conference record.
After a devastating loss against Marymount sent the Cavaliers home, they look to take the AEC trophy this year.
The upcoming season
Cabrini University starts its season against Cairn University. The Cavaliers went 2-0 against Cairn University in 2022 and look to keep the streak alive in 2023. Their conference games against Neumann University begin in March.
“This season will be my last, so I’m excited to go out and play with an awesome group of guys and end on a high note,” Garrett Laraia, graduate student and infielder, said.
Laraia returns for his fifth year at Cabrini, and looks to continue as a force for the Cavaliers. In 2022, he led the team in fielding percentage and ranked third in assists, and led the conference in fielding double plays.
Laraia is also a force on the other side of the ball: he ranked fifth in runs scored, fourth in stolen bases, and fourth in triples.
“I am most excited to be playing baseball with some of my closest friends,” Shane Chavez-Zottnick, senior and infielder/outfielder, said.
Chavez-Zottnick appeared in 11 games with the Cavaliers, recording three RBIs, a multi-hit game, and six runs scored in the 2022 season.
“This team will be extremely competitive in our conference. We have the potential to be extremely dangerous,” Chavez-Zottnick said.
Cabrini finished their 2022 season with a 13-5 conference record, losing in the second round by two runs to Marymount. In 2022, the Cavaliers led the AEC in triples with six by senior Mack McKisson, home runs, with 11 by sophomore Zack Brook, and hits, with 60 by Gil Peralta.
“I think we will perform well in conference this season. We have a core group of guys that know what it takes to win, and we are going to do everything we can to win the conference,” Laraia said.
If the team changes their luck in conference playoffs, they will bring home their first-ever AEC trophy, having fallen short before the championship series to Immaculata in 2021 and Marymount in 2022.
“A conference championship would mean a lot, as there has never been one in the program’s history,” Chavez-Zottnick said.
“We made it to the championship my freshman year, came up short, and have not been back since. Winning it all just means that all the hard work has truly paid off,” Laraia said.
Advancements in the offseason
Cabrini hopes to continue their success on the diamond by bringing back multiple upperclassmen from the year before. These athletes include outfielder Dustin Sutton, right-handed pitcher Rey Maisonet, right-handed pitcher Davin Conway, and infielder Laraia.
“We had some key players graduate last year, but we have had guys put in the work and fill those shoes,” Laraia said.
The team also has multiple freshmen coming in this offseason that they hope will have a positive impact. Many of the freshmen added to the roster is pitcher Blake Weinstein, infielder Colin Stocklin, infielder Colton Narciso, catcher Colin Kind, first base/pitcher Aareon Monroe, outfielder Brady Campbell, and right-handed pitcher Victor Rivera.
“Our biggest achievement this offseason has come from the work we put in outside our practice times. Guys are always putting in extra to help us reach our goals,” Chavez-Zottnick said.
Cabrini plays Franklin and Marshall College on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.