The mound crew is strengthened by the additions of Franklin Pierce transfer Cata Lacroix and freshmen Sean Buckland (St. Mary’s), Sean O’Brien (Swampscott), Mike Boryski, Kevin Church (Bishop Fenwick/Peabody), Ben Kendrew (Lynnfield) and Matt Abrain. Providing help out of the bullpen are seniors Andrew Guido (Bishop Fenwick), Ryan Sharp and sophomore Shawn Hull (Gloucester) along with Mike Davis (Bishop Fenwick/Peabody), who closed out the game against Heidelberg.
Davis, a transfer from Franklin Pierce, will also be used as a DH and outfielder. Sophomore Ryan Beliveau of Lynn was the closer last season and is back in that role as well as helping strengthen the infield.
The Vikings will be rock solid behind the plate with junior Brett Cahill of Gloucester, who was a First Team All-New England catcher/DH a year ago. He hit .361 with a team-leading four homers and 42 RBI.
Adding depth are Mike Lamothe of Beverly (via Pingree), who returns after missing last season, and freshman Genaro Ciulla of Peabody, who transferred from Southern New Hampshire. Kyle Rufo of Malden will also catch and provide a good bat off the bench.
Salem State has plenty of power hitters, led by junior captain Kyle McElroy of Newburyport. The left fielder had a team-high 57 hits and .429 average as a sophomore with 33 RBI in a like number of games after suffering a late-season injury.
Cahill, Lamothe, senior third baseman Bill Cataldo, right fielder Steve Buitkus (a captain) and speedy center fielder Ethan Trowt of Beverly are other big bats for SSU. Freshman Casey Grenier of Peabody will provide depth in the outfield and speed on the bases.
Junior captain Matt Burgess will anchor first base. He hit .355 a year ago with two dingers and 28 runs batted in. Kevin Salines has been moved from third to second (38 runs scored, 19 stolen bases), while sophomores Beliveau and Cataldo will help out on the left side of the infield.