Arcadia baseball preview 2019
Expectations are high for head coach Bryan Torresani and his Arcadia program entering 2019, but that comes with the territory when you win back-to-back conference championships.

"It's a fun environment for all the guys," Torresani said. "We have fun out there on the field and it shows. We keep it relaxed."

The Knights finished 31-16 last season, advancing to the NCAA tournament after defeating Hood in a wild Middle Atlantic Conference title game, 25-12. Torresani's club then went on to secure a victory over Catholic in the regionals before being knocked out by top-seeded Rowan.

"The guys want to get back there, and we have the roster I think to do just that," Torresani said.

Arcadia returns four all-conference performers from last season, including Player of the Year Bryan Gillen. The junior outfielder was the program's first-ever All-America recipient and was MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year, hitting .415 on the season with three home runs, 36 RBIs, and a .591 slugging percentage.

"There's not much more that can be said about him," Torresani said. "He's a great young man and can absolutely crush the ball."

Joining Gillen as key returnees to the lineup are seniors Phil Pierfy (also a standout on the basketball team), Sean Carew, and Nick Ponente. The trio combined to drive in 123 runs last season while hitting .361.

"Gillen is a great weapon, but he's certainly not our only threat in the middle of the lineup," Torresani said.

On the mound, junior right-hander Joel Bartoni figures to be near the top of the Knights' rotation. He recorded a 4.17 ERA last season with a 6-1 record over 58.1 innings of work, striking out 31. Of his 13 appearances, seven were as a starter. He also secured the Knights lone win in last year's NCAA regional tournament, tossing a complete game against Catholic while surrendering six hits and two runs, striking out four and walking three.

"He was great and we have faith in him, he was masterful in that outing and expect to see more of that this year," Torresani said.

Also returning to the staff is junior left-hander Robert Lichtenberger who made nine appearances last season with seven of those coming as starts.

The Knights open the 2019 season with a doubleheader on February 23 hosting Elizabethtown.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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