The Wheaton College baseball team is expecting a big season from junior righthander Alec Palloca, a former King Philip standout and Jared Celement of Wrentham and the Saint Sebastian’s School will be looking to be a factor in the starting rotation.
Despite being ranked preseason favorites in two national polls and appearing in the NCAA Division III College World Series last season, the focus of the Wheaton College baseball team remains the same as the Lyons head into their 2013 campaign.
“Our goals are always to take care of today, try to get better and try to continue progressing throughout the year,” said head coach Eric Podbelski, who is in his 17th year at the helm. “Certainly a goal of ours is to win our NEWMAC regular season championship so that we have a chance to host the NEWMAC Tournament and win our NEWMAC Tournament. That’s a big goal for us because that is the only guaranteed way to get into the NCAA Tournament and then you just keep resetting your goals from there.”
Last year, Wheaton finished the 2012 season with a 41-11 record, the second most wins in program history, and a 16-2 mark in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). The Lyons advanced to the championship round of the NCAA Division III College World Series before falling to then-no.1 ranked Marietta College in the championship game.
Wheaton will open its season on Saturday, March 2 against St. Joseph's (Long Island) at 11 a.m. in Patchogue, N.Y. The Lyons will take on Farmingdale State the next day at 10:00 a.m. and then travel south for its annual spring break trip to Florida, all against stiff competition.