By Tyler Wiklie, Sports Information Intern
ROCHESTER - The 2017 MCC baseball team looks to pick up where it left off last season. A year ago, the Tribunes took home the Region III title, along with the NJCAA East District Division II championship. Monroe's successful season came to an end after losing in the NJCAA Division II World Series.
The team opens up their 2017 season with 10 games in Arizona. Following their road trip out west, the Tribunes return home on March 25 and will play host to Herkimer College for a doubleheader. Some key games this season are with Mercyhurst North East as the teams will play each other five times. On April 11, the Tribunes will travel to Mercyhurst to play the first two games of the series. Later on, Monroe will host the Saints for a three-game set on April 22-23. The winner of the best-of-5 season series will host the Region III, Division II tournament, which will be a best-of-3 series May 12-14.
MCC returns seven players from last year's 33-16 squad. They are led by pitcher Colin Johnston and first baseman John Ricotta. Johnston appeared in 19 games last season and ended with a 9-3 record. He also struck out 58 batters which was best among freshmen pitchers. Ricotta who was named to All-Region III first team, led the team in RBI's with 65, and had a batting average of .401.
Also returning is outfielder Ryan Boutelle, who had a solid batting average of .383 which placed him second for freshmen on the team. He is joined by fellow four other returners, infielder Ryan Brown, catcher Nick Ficarella, and pitchers Connor Hurst and Patrick Connor.
Monroe has 20 newcomers to this year's roster who will look to provide a spark on the season.