Varsity Baseball

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Huber Takes Helm for Salisbury Nine

There is a new face guiding Salisbury’s varsity baseball program this spring, as Kevin Huber succeeds Xander Jones as head coach. In his roles as Fifth Form Dean and Assistant Director of Athletics, Huber has already become a familiar figure on campus over the past sixth months.

Huber brings a wealth of baseball experience to the head coaching position. For the past seven years, he served on the coaching staff at Yale University, helping guide the Bulldogs to a division championship last spring. Prior to his work at Yale, Huber spent four years as the defensive and hitting coach at Fairfield University. A 2000 graduate of the University of Bridgeport, where he played four years of baseball and earned All-NECC honors, Huber has also coached at the University of New Haven.

In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Huber has coached at Greens Farms Academy in Westport. For his senior thesis work at Bridgeport, Huber founded the Connecticut Blue Jays Baseball Club, which would blossom into the top program for high school – and now younger – players in Connecticut. Huber continues to serve as director. In its eighteen-year history, the club has helped prepare over 300 high school players for collegiate careers, focusing on the importance of academic preparation as well as development of baseball skills.

Over that same period, 30 Blue Jay players have signed professional contracts. One of those, George Springer, took some time out of the Houston Astros’ practice schedule this March in Florida to visit the Knights’ training camp, see his old coach, and have a question-and-answer session with the Salisbury players. “It was a memorable experience for the boys,” Huber recounts. “They were pretty awestruck.”

Huber is the recipient of a solid corps of returning players, including an impressive collection of arms. Dylan Castaneda, Theo McDowell, co-captain and Holy Cross-commit Cam Meyer, and co-captain Dylan Sanchez all logged innings on the mound last spring. When not pitching, McDowell, Meyer, and Sanchez should give the infield a solid foundation. Castaneda will help man the outfield along with fellow returners Dan Anderson and Trip Hershey. Anderson’s potent bat will also put him in the line-up as a DH. Catcher/first baseman Bennett Psyhogeos and all-purpose infielder Adam Colangelo provide Huber with further experience and options.

Newcomers to the Hilltop include outfielder Kam Chada, a Dickinson College-commit; pitcher/first baseman Liam Hibbits, a Virginia Commonwealth-commit; and pitcher Emmett Sheehan, a Boston College-commit. Other pitching prospects new to Salisbury are Zach Banks, and Curtis Fournier, who will also pick up innings at first base. Sean Langan gives Huber another experienced catcher and can also play outfield, while Coop Cheetham’s glove skills will make him an important part of the infield. And if Gunner Gibson and Anthony Sims can bring to the diamond some of the same magic they produced last fall on the gridiron, Huber will be hard-pressed to find line-up spots for everyone.

Jones’s team was eliminated in the opening round of the Western New England Playoffs last spring, falling short of the success of some of Salisbury’s recent baseball squads but continuing a long string of post-season appearances. Huber looks to continue that tradition. Salisbury will face particularly strong challenges from Berkshire, Canterbury, and Cheshire, but Huber is optimistic. “The team has balance through the line-up,” the first-year coach cautiously observes, “and should be competitive.”

- Procter Smith


Where Are They Now?

Recent Salisbury graduates and where they are continuing their academic/playing careers:

2015:
David Cahn, University of Richmond
Chris Colao, Colby College
Riley Hebert , University of Illinois – Chicago
Jacob Lamb, University of Richmond
George Hewitt, University of Michigan

2014:
Will Toffey, Vanderbilt University/ MLB Draft Choice NY Yankees
Austin DeCarr, Clemson University/ MLB Draft Choice NY Yankees
Paul Campbell, Clemson University
Kyle Adams, University of Richmond
Stephen White, Tufts University
Wills Montgomerie, University of Connecticut
Scott Hovey, UMASS-Amherst
Andrew Murnane, University of Pennsylvania
Mason Koppens, Northeastern University

2013:
Tim Graul, University of Pennsylvania
Henry Milano, Dickinson College
Thomas Mahala, United States Naval Academy
Ryley MacEachern, Stony Brook/ MLB Draft Choice Miami Marlins
Matt Pugh, Tufts University
Christopher Ramos, Southern Connecticut State University
Aaron Rodriguez, Manhattan College
Alec Morrison, College of the Holy Cross

2012:
Zachary Racusin, Marist College
Kyle Musco, Quinnipiac University
Patrick Argentina, Newbury College
Oliver Powers, Bryant University 
Alex Tuccio, Siena College
Garrison Banas, Bryant University 
Patrick Mazeika, Stetson University/ MLB Draft Choice NY Mets

2011:
William Shepley , UNC Wilmington/ MLB Draft Choice Baltimore Orioles
John Perri, Fairfield University
James Lynch, MLB Draft Choice Toronto Blue Jays
Mike White, University of Louisville 
Ben Clune, Sewanee: The University of the South

2010:
Brookes Townsend, George Washington University
Brian Eggleston, Stetson University

2009:
Adam Pratson, High Point University
Hugh Osteen, Sewanee: The University of the South

2008:
Anthony Hewitt, Philadelphia Phillies / Vanderbilt University
Sean Cleary, Babson College
Sean White, Dickinson College
Nick DeSantis,  Johns Hopkins University
Chris Dwyer, Kansas City Royals / Clemson University
Phil Blume, St. Lawrence University
Alex LiDonni, Trinity College

2007:
Tucker Nathans, Fairfield University
Ryan Healy, Amherst College

2006: 
Colin McKelligan,  Union College 
 


History of The Program

Baseball at Salisbury pre-dates the School’s published records, but a team was active at least as early as 1904, making it the oldest interscholastic sport on the Hilltop. For many decades baseball was the only sport played in the spring. The 1905 squad played nine games, and by 1908 the School had grown large enough to field a JV team as well. A $500 donation from Mrs. Samuel Kelley allowed forgrading the baseball diamond, later known as Kelley Field. Ward House occupies the site today. Returning army veteran John Myers took over the reins of the team in 1919, a role he held for several decades. Salisbury recorded its first and second undefeated seasons in 1932 and 1933. Coach Hop Rudd assumed management duties in the late 1940s, and led the team to a Connatonic League Championship in 1959. The baseball squad enjoyed particular success in the first decade of the new century under coaches Dan Donato and Mark Leavitt, several times winning both the Connatonic League Championship and the Western New England Baseball League crown. John Toffey followed at the helm, leading the Knights to four consecutive WNEPBL Championships. Today, the Crimson Knights are led by Head Coach Kevin Huber.

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