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Arcadia Baseball
Graduating the standout player of your conference usually heralds a challenge for a college program, but this year may bring a different story for Arcadia under the stewardship of new head coach Charles Thielmann
Thielmann joins Arcadia following a prosperous six-season stint as Assistant Coach at Stevens Institute of Technology, culminating in his role as Associate Head Coach in the final season. Meanwhile, Bryan Torresani, who led the Knights for the past seven seasons, has transitioned to an assistant coaching role at Delaware during the offseason. 
The Knights wrapped up last season with an overall record of 32-14, including an impressive 20-3 performance in MAC Freedom play. Their 32 wins are the third-most in the program's 29-year history, while their 20 conference victories set a program record. 
"We are an older team and just really fortunate with the amount of experience we have," Thielmann continued. "They've made the transition seamless for me. These guys are so close, and the culture is great; they've created an outstanding environment." 
As the Knights gear up for the new season, they're forecasted to secure the second spot in the fiercely contested 2024 Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom) via the Preseason Coaches Poll. This recognition comes after clinching consecutive MAC Freedom Championships, triumphing over preseason favorite Misericordia in the finals, and solidifying their dominance within the conference. 
However, one notable absence looms large—Alex Madera, the two-time reigning MAC Freedom Player of the Year. The Delran native, with a stellar .458 batting average last year and a career .432 batting average, along with 100 RBIs and 86 stolen bases over 138 games, leaves a significant void in the lineup. Madera's offensive prowess and leadership will be missed, presenting a substantial challenge for the Knights as they pursue continued success. 
"You don't replace a guy like that," Thielmann remarked. "We expect guys to step up, but that's a significant loss for us, absolutely." 
Key players to watch include graduate student infielder Justin Massielo (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) and outfielder Matt Donchez (Jamison, Pa/Archbishop Wood), both earning spots on the All-MAC Freedom Second Team last year. Massielo hit .298 with two homers and 32 RBIs while starting all 46 games. Donchez hit .357 with 29 RBIs and nine stolen bases. 
"He's such a leader on the diamond," Thielmann said of Massielo. "It's like having another coach in the dugout or on the field. As for Donchez, we anticipate him building off what he did last season." 
Senior right-hander Hunter Curley (Collegeville, Pa./Spring-Ford) will open the season in the top slot of the starting rotation. Named an All-MAC Freedom Second Team honoree as a pitcher, he posted a 3-0 record with a 2.77 ERA, 34 strikeouts, and one complete game in 39.0 innings pitched. 
Newcomer Jack Dovidio, a graduate transfer from Juniata, will also see time in the rotation. He appeared in 33 games with 17 starts over four seasons while posting a 7-9 record with 78 strikeouts. 
Another significant transfer addition is infielder Solomon Griffith (Ocean City, NJ./Atlantic Christian) from Ursinus. The graduate student played in 97 games over four seasons and finished his undergrad career with a .360 batting average with 38 stolen bases. 
"He's a pros pro," Thielmann said. "We're looking at him to come in and do well for us." 
Junior infielder Gabe Diaz is another transfer addition to the Knights, making the jump from DeSales where he hit .314 over two seasons while driving in 25 runs and swiping 21 bases. 
"We have a lot of options and are really pleased with how it's looking," Thielmann said. 
The journey commences on February 17th with a non-conference match-up against Ursinus. League play opens on March 16th against perennial rival Misericordia.

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