GORHAM, Maine -- Veteran University of Southern Maine baseball head coach Ed Flaherty announced recently that seniors Ben Ives (Portland, Maine/Deering), Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, Conn./Notre Dame), David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine/Winthrop) and Dustin Stanton (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) have been named captains for the upcoming 2012 season.
The Huskies open their 2012 schedule next weekend (March 3-4) when they travel to Yaphank, N.Y., to play non-conference games against Lyndon State College and SUNY College at Old Westbury.
Ives and Stanton will headline the Huskies' pitching staff with Pisani beginning his fourth season as a starter in the infield, and Ricker anchoring a talented outfield.
A fifth-year senior, Ives compiled a 2-3 record with one save and a 5.12 ERA last season. Stanton was 4-5 with three saves and a 6.44 ERA in 22 appearances, including two starts, a year ago. Flaherty is expecting the duo to draw most of the weekend starts, particularly when the Huskies get into conference play the end of March.
Pisani, an All-Little East Conference performer in 2010, hit .329 with 36 runs scored, six doubles, one home run and 27 RBI last season. Ricker compiled a .316 batting average last season with 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, three homers and 18 RBI. He is slated to move from left field to right field this spring.
Southern Maine, 22-19 overall and 6-8 (tied for fifth place) in the Little East Conference last spring, is scheduled to play 40 games. USM will make two trips to Long Island, New York, before traveling to Bridgewater State University on March 17.
The Huskies will make their annual southern trip (March 22-29) playing eight games in Florida, including games against perennial powers Western New England University, Amherst College, Ramapo College and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. WNEU and Whitewater each won NCAA regional titles last year to advance to the Division III World Series while Ramapo was a regional tournament participant. The Huskies are scheduled to play 13 games against nine teams that advanced to the 2011 NCAA tournament this season.
Upon their return from Florida, the Huskies will board the bus to open their Little East Conference schedule March 31 with a doubleheader against defending champion Rhode Island College in Providence, R.I. The Huskies are slated to play their home opener the next day against Bowdoin College.
In all, the Huskies will play 22 of their first 23 games away from the friendly surroundings of the USM Baseball Stadium. The Huskies have 13 of their final 17 regular season games at home.