1998 Amherst College Baseball

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Founded: 1821
Enrollment: 1,650 undergraduates
President: Tom Gerety
Colors: Purple and White
Nickname: Lord Jeffs
Affiliations: NESCAC, ECAC, NCAA Division III

Athletic Director: Peter Gooding
Athletic Phone: 413 542-2274
Athletic Fax: 413 542-2026
Home Field: Memorial Field
Dimensions: (LF) 335 x (CF) 400 x (RF) 335

Sports Information Director: Irene Cheung
Office Phone: 413 542-2390
Home Phone: 413 256-4139
Fax: 413 542-2527
Address: Box 2202 - Amherst College
Public Affairs Office
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Head Coach: Bill Thurston (33rd season)
Alma Mater: Michigan '58
Record at Amherst: 528-239-8 (32 years)
Career Record: 528-239-8 (32 years)
Office Phone: 413 542-2284
Assistant Coaches: Justin Cronk '97, Chuck Roys, Joe Sarno
Address: Box 2230 - Amherst College
Alumni Gymnasium
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

1997 Record: 26-6, NCAA New England Regional
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/6
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/6
1998 Captains: Dan Blednick '98, Mike Sullivan '98
Top Returning Pitcher: Jon Cross '98 (2.42 ERA)
Top Returning Catcher: Dan Blednick '98 (.304 BA)
Top Returning Hitters: Mike Sullivan '98 (.413 BA, 4 HR), Josh Carroll '98 (.389 BA, 8 HR)

1998 Season Outlook

With a pair of NCAA apperances in the last two years, Amherst baseball hopes to remain among the New England elites in 1998 with 19 veterans and rookies ready to make an early impact on the program. Despite the loss of six players, including four pitchers, from the 1997 team, Head Coach Bill Thurston remains confident in his squad.

"I'm optimistic that we have a good ball club," noted the 32-year veteran. "It will be interesting to see how the pitching holds up because that could be the difference between a mediocre year and a really good year. But we're returning an offensive group - our strength will be hitting with more power than we generally have, and with a lot of experienced hitting."

Senior Jon Cross returns as the Jeffs' No. 1 pitcher, boasting a 4-1 record in 1997 with a 2.42 ERA. The left-hander is backed by the staff of junior Mike Sweeney (4-0, 3.19 ERA), Graham Callaghan (3-0, 3.38), Mike Spirito (4-0, 2.81), Andy Ditchfield (4-0, 2.86) and rookie Dave Siegle.

The offense boasts the team's leading returning hitters in All-NESCAC co-captain Mike Sullivan (.413, 4 HR, 28 RBI) and senior Josh Carroll (.389, 8 HR, 42 RBI), who was named to the NCAA New England All-Tournament team. The pair will be joined by Michael St. Clair, a transfer from the University of New Hampshire and who boasted a .354 batting average and 24 RBI as the second-leading hitter on the Division I Wildcats. Junior Spencer Christensen and rookie Matt Hall will also see time in the outfield.

Senior Dan Blednick returns as an All-NCAA New England Regional catcher after hitting .304 in 1997 with a .974 fielding percentage. The co-captain will be backed up by sophomore Whit Griffinger (.278) and junior Greg Berchelmann (.362, 6 HR), who led the team with 47 RBI as the Lord Jeff designated hitter.

Geoff Spies, Mike Grant and Hugh Quattlebaum return to 1st, 2nd and 3rd base, respectively, and they will be ably backed by James Hochrein and Larry Miles, Kevin Downes and Andy Jones, and Ryan Whitmarsh, respectively. Rookies Tim Magner and Jordan Krall look to split time at shortstop.