Saint Joseph's Baseball Preview
Saint Joseph's relied on a pair of power bats in Andrew Cossetti and Nate Thomas last season to reach the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament before eventually falling to Saint Louis. 

Cossetti went on to be drafted days later in the 11th round of the MLB Amateur Draft by the Minnesota Twins, leaving Thomas as the lone bash-brother returning to Hawk Hill. 

"You can't replace a guy like that, not even close," said Hawks head coach Fritz Hamburg. "Nate will be pitched to differently this year, so it'll be a matter of making those adjustments." 

Thomas, a graduate student, pieced together the best season of his college career last year, hitting .300 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs. The third baseman also was named to the All-Conference Second Team.

Setting the table at the top of the lineup for the Hawks is another All-Conference Second Team returnee in outfielder Brett Callahan. The junior speedster hit .383 while hitting eight homers to go along with 34 RBIs and 23 stolen bases, three short of the single-season program record. 

"He's a dynamic kid," Hamburg said. "He has a high level of athleticism with good bat speed. It's nice to have him at the top where he can hit a homer, hit a double with his speed, beat out an infield hit and steal two bags; he puts pressure on the other team to make a play. He's a special player and belongs on everyone's radar." 

Another name to keep an eye on is junior outfielder Ryan Picollo. The Kansas native didn't play last year but returns and will likely be slotted in the middle of the lineup. 

On the bump, Hamburg expects transfer right-hander Domenic Picone to anchor the rotation. The Garnet Valley native made 13 starts last year for Rhode Island, collecting 76 strikeouts over 62 2/3 innings. 

"I've been impressed with how he goes about his business," Hamburg said. "He's grown his repertoire a bit and had a great fall without giving up a run." 

Another arm to watch in the rotation is first-year right-hander and Souderton product Will McCausland. 

"He has good velocity on his pitches, and he's smart," Hamburg said. "I know he's a freshman and unproven, but we've had freshman in our rotation before." 

Saint Joseph's finished 29-25 overall last season with a 12-11 mark in the Atlantic 10. The 29 wins marked the third-highest total in program history. The club is ranked No. 7 in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll, ranking ahead of George Mason, Fordham, George Washington, Massachusetts, and Saint Bonaventure. 

"We have to compete better than last year," Hamburg said. "We've got a touch schedule in conference with our first weekend at Richmond, were at home with VCU, then we go to Saint Louis, so those first three weekends are certainly going to be a test for us." 

Breakout Candidate 
Peter Gallo | Right-hander | Senior 
The Asbury native battled control issues last year, but pieced together a stellar fall with better accuracy and a fastball that routinely sits in the mid-90s. If he can piece it together, he could be a significant arm for the Hawks. 

Newcomer to Watch 
Will McCausland | Right-hander | Freshman 
One of the better high school arms in the region, he collected 110 strikeouts with Souderton and was a First-Team All-Suburban One honoree. He also recorded a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings in the Valley League this past summer. 

The Schedule 
The Hawks open against Duke on Friday and will face Rutgers and Old Dominion before opening the home portion of the schedule on March 10 with a weekend series against UMass-Lowell. 

"The front end of the season is going be a challenge for us, but I'm excited," Hamburg said. "We need to get ourselves ready for those conference contests with teams like VCU and Saint Louis because those will be the guys there in the end. 

 "We don't want to just compete with them, we want to win the whole thing."
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