Ahead of the 2017 season, the Merrimack College baseball team has announced that graduate infielder Mike Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) will be joined by seniors Matt DiNello (Southington, Conn.) and Cam DiSarcina (Shirley, Mass.) as well as junior Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.)as team captains following a vote conducted by the Warriors roster.
Forgione returns for his fifth season and was a captain last year. All four captains were significant contributors to the Navy and Gold last season, a year that saw Merrimack win the second most games in program history (29).
Merrimack’s starting shortstop last year, Forgione returned from injury to start all 46 games and set career highs in hits (52), doubles (15) and RBI (25). The North Branford native posted a slash line of .275/.388/.354 while scoring 49 runs and stealing 15 bases.
DiSarcina was selected to the Northeast-10 All-Conference Second Team, splitting time at third base and second base for the Warriors. A three-time all-league honoree, DiSarcina posted a career season with personal bests of 63 hits, 17 doubles and 37 RBI. DiSarcina begins his final season with 156 career hits, 44 away from becoming the fourth player in program history with 200 career base knocks.
DiNello is the lone pitcher among the four captains, entering his fourth year following a breakout junior campaign. He threw in 14 games, all as a reliever, compiling a 3.26 ERA. The Southington native totaled three saves over a career-high 33.1 innings pitched, striking out a personal-best 26 opposing hitters.
The lone non-graduating student-athlete among the captains, Smith will be one of two primary catchers for Merrimack this season. A power hitter at the plate, Smith totaled two home runs in just 53 at-bats, with 25 percent of his hits going for extra bases. Possessing a flair for the dramatics, one of Smith’s long balls came in the bottom of the ninth against No. 3/5 Southern New Hampshire to send that game to extra innings, while his other was a two-run pinch-hit go-ahead shot in the top of the 16th inning at Stonehill.