With six weeks to go before the 2022 college baseball season begins, it’s time to take a look at what the roster and future of the River Hawks baseball program may look like. As for the season ahead, UMass Lowell will begin on February 18 at Tulane University. They will play their first 18 games on the road which is not unusual for the team. Their home opener will take place on Friday, March 25, when they host Binghamton University. The roster will welcome 20 newcomers when the team begins to prepare for the season ahead. Let’s give you an idea of what this team will look like come spring.
The team has brought in six transfers for this season. Four of the six are from the junior college ranks, and two of them are from Herkimer Community College in infielder Frank Wayman and outfielder Matt Tobin who had a .405 batting average with 34 hits, seven home runs, and 34 RBi at Herkimer. There are two graduate students coming in for this season. First, there is Zach Rodgers, a RHP who was at Southern Connecticut who made nine appearances last year with a 6-3 record, 5.10 ERA, 44.2 innings pitch with 44 strikeouts. Fritz Genther spent one season at Virginia Tech where he started 39 games for the Hokies hitting .213 with three home runs, 16 RBI, and 45 hits. He also drew 18 walks. He is also an infielder.
There are 16 incoming freshmen that will be joining the UMass Lowell program this spring. Coach Ken Harring and his staff did a good job of grabbing as many local kids as possible. Eleven of them are from Massachusetts notables among them are Brendan Holland from North Andover MA. who last spring in the Super 8 tournament pitched 14 scoreless innings helping his team win a state championship. LJ Keevan from Phillips Academy, a LHP/OF was captain of last year’s team. He was honored for a terrific spring being named 2021 All-New England 1st team, HSCBA All-New England 2021, HSCBA All America Finalist, # 1 LHP in MA. by Perfect game, and 2021 preseason All America by Perfect Game. Keevan could be someone to watch this spring.
New Hampshire and Maine have one player each on the team. From NH comes Brandon Fish from Londonderry High School. The infielder was honored as a Future League All-Star. As a junior, he took part in the WWBA tournament in Georgia helping his team to a sixth-place finish. From Maine, they got Jacob Humphrey from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish Maine. The IF/OF was an All-State Shortstop and SMAA 1st Team Shortstop. He was captain of his team one year ago.
As always, we will have to wait and see how this group fits in with those that are back from last year’s team that was one win away from taking part in the America East Baseball Tournament. There is a lot to like about this roster that features a solid number one starter in Joshua Becker, a solid bullpen in Sal Fusco, and closer Henry Funaro. They also have one of the best hitters in the league in sophomore catcher Jimmy Sullivan who was in the batting race through the final weekend.
Soon, we will see the UMass Lowell River Hawks in action, can’t wait.