SEAHAWKS OPEN SEASON WITH FOUR GAMES AT ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE CLASSIC THIS WEEKEND
This weekend, Broward plays four games at the St. Petersburg College Classic with the opener against Pensacola State College on Friday at 2 p.m. Ben Bizier enters his second year as head coach with a revamped roster of only six returning players in outfielders Tyler Fichter and Alex Roberts; infielder Austin Langham and pitchers Michael Agis, Ryan Guerra and Troy Massaro. Fichter was named first team all-Southern Conference after leading the Seahawks in plate appearances (198), stolen bases (19) and also tied for first in hits (49) and fielding percentage (1.000). Roberts finished tied for first in triples with four. Langham led all fielders in assists with 93. Agis was second on the Seahawk staff in earned run average (2.00). Guerra finished 12th in the NJCAA in E.R.A.(1.55) and tied for first on the team in victories (three). Massaro went 2-0 with a 3.13 E.R.A. in 2013, but sat out last year as a redshirt.
Completing the roster are 19 newcomers in outfielders Alfredo Iser and Juan Carlos Millan; infielders Max Balter, Joseph Collazo, Andre Lopez, Rayden Ogando and Alvin Swoope; catchers Hayden Platt and Yordany Salva; utility players Elliot Gonzalez and Jon Spada; pitchers Donovan Armas, Rigo Beltran, Raymond Catena, Eduardo Delgado, Will Fabra, Louis Pugliese, Orlando Rodriguez
and Will Simpson.
One year after seeing thirteen of his players move on to four year schools and professional baseball, head coach Ben Bizier was hard on the recruiting trail this past summer to rebuild the Broward College baseball roster. Austin Langham, Tyler Fichter, and Alex Roberts return on the position side while Ryan Guerra, Michael Agis, Troy Massaro and redshirt freshman Orlando Rodriguez return on the mound. In addition, twelve transfers and seven freshmen will combine to form a well-balanced and talented roster to compete in the Southern Conference.
As in past seasons, the Seahawks have plenty of athletic ability in the outfield led by speedsters Tyler Fichter and Alex Roberts. Batting .301 with 19 stolen bases, Fichter was named a first team all-Conference player for the Southern Conference in 2014. Freshmen JC Millan and Alfredo Iser are two newcomers that will have an immediate impact in the outfield for the Seahawks. Transfers Elliott Gonzalez, and John Spada will also see time in the outfield as the two utility players are capable of playing multiple positions, giving the Seahawks plenty of options defensively.
In the infield, Austin Langham leads a group comprised of three transfers and two very talented freshmen. Rayden Ogando and Andres Lopez will be counted on to provide offense from the middle of the order with transfer Alvin Swoope helping set the table. Newcomers Max Balter and JoJo Collazo will play multiple positions within the infield for this year’s Seahawk team providing the staff the ability to construct a variety of infield combinations without compromising the defense. Behind the plate, switch hitting freshman Yordany Salva will share time with UCF transfer Hayden Platt.
The Seahawks boast a deep staff of veteran arms on the mound, led by Michael Agis who is listed as one of the top returning pitchers in the Gulf District. Lynn University commit Rigo Beltran along with Troy Massaro provide the Seahawks two quality arms from the left side in the starting rotation. Talented right handers Will Fabra(FIU Commit) and Donovan Armas will occupy the remaining two spots of the starting rotation.
The bullpen is led by the Gulf District’s top returning arm in Ryan Guerra (University of Miami commit). Guerra led the staff and the conference with a 1.55 earned run average in 2014. Transfers Eddie Delgado(UT-Pan American commit), Will Simpson and Ray Catena will also pitch out of the bullpen for the Seahawks along with freshman Louis Pugliese and Leonel Cespedes.
TWELVE SEAHAWKS SIGN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS TO FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES
Twelve Broward College graduates are continuing their collegiate careers after signing athletic scholarships to four-year institutions. These former Seahawks include pitchers Brandon Cook, Brandon Diaz, Danny Dopico, Jorge Marrero, Jaime Pozo, Alex Seibold and Chris Walkerow; infielders Carlos Garmendia and Lorenzo Papa; outfielders Justin Cummings and Sly Edwards and catcher Chucky Vazquez.
Cook, who appeared in 10 of 12 games as a reliever last season, has signed with Francis Marion (S.C.) University.
Diaz and Dopico remain teammates after each committed to Florida International University. Diaz started six of 10 games on the mound and struck out 45 batters in 33 innings. Dopico made a team-high 19 appearances—all in relief.
Marrero, a second team all-Southern Conference selection after finishing second among Seahawks in innings pitched (52.2), throwing the only complete game of the season and tying Robert Cancio for most saves with two, has committed to Florida Atlantic University.
Pozo, who appeared in 29 games as reliever during his two seasons as a Seahawk, signed with Point Park (Pa.) University.
Seibold, a second team all-conference selection after posting team-highs in starts (10), innings pitched (57.2) and tying Diaz for most strikeouts (45), has committed to Bethune Cookman University.
Walkerow, who started 20 of 23 games during his Seahawk career and this season tied Ryan Guerra for most victories with three, signed with Campbell (N.C.) University.
Garmendia, a second team all-conference selection after leading the Seahawks in runs batted in (29), doubles (16), home runs (six), total bases (81) and at bats (167), has committed to Rollins College.
Papa, who tied Garmendia for most starts (43) and topped all Seahawk fielders in defensive chances (276) and putouts (254), signed with Southern New Hampshire University.
Cummings, who tied Tyler Fichter for highest fielding percentage with a 1.000 mark, committed to University of Northeastern Ohio.
Edwards, a first team all-conference selection after topping the Seahawks in batting average (.327), runs (37) and tying Fichter in hits (49) and Alex Roberts in triples (four), signed with Charleston Southern (S.C.) University.
Vazquez, a first team all-Southern Conference selection after leading the Seahawks with a .489 slugging percentage and throwing out a team-high 12 base stealers, committed to Lipscomb (Tenn.) University.
ROBERT CANCIO SELECTED BY ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS IN MLB DRAFT
Broward College utility player Robert Cancio was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 31st round (930th selection overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft. Cancio pitched in 11 games with 10 appearances as a reliever and struck out 30 batters in 15 innings. The freshman lefthander posted two saves to tie Jorge Marrero for most on the staff. Cancio also played 10 games either at first base or as a pinch hitter.
Broward College recruit Kevin Rivera was selected in the 14th round (418th overall) by the San Francisco Giants. Rivera, a second baseman, played in the Carlos Beltran Academy in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.
SIX MEN’S BASEBALL PLAYERS NAMED ALL-SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
Broward had six players named all-Southern Conference with first team honors for outfielders Sly Edwards and Tyler Fichter along with catcher Chucky Vazquez. Second team selections included infielder Carlos Garmendia along with pitchers Jorge Marrero and Alex Seibold.
Edwards topped the Seahawks in batting average (.327), runs (37) and tied Fichter in hits (49) and Alex Roberts in triples (four). Fichter led in stolen bases (19), sacrifice flies (six), total plate appearances (198) and tied Justin Cummings for highest fielding percentage (1.000). Vazquez was first in slugging percentage (.489) and threw out a team-high 12 base stealers.
Garmendia was first in runs batted in (29), doubles (16), home runs (six), total bases (81) and at bats (167). Marrero pitched the only complete game and tied Robert Cancio in saves (two). Seibold led in starts (10), innings pitched (57.2) and tied Brandon Diaz in strikeouts (45).
According to the latest NJCAA statistics (May 5), Ryan Guerra is 18th out of 50 pitchers in earned run average (1.55). Guerra topped the Seahawks in ERA and tied Chris Walkerow in wins (three). Danny Dopico had the most appearances with 19. Jordan Jackson led in on-base percentage (.424). Austin Langham was first in hit-by-pitches (six) and the freshman infielder had a team-high 93 assists. Cummings led in sacrifice bunts (four) and Lorenzo Papa had the most putouts with 254.