Baseball comes out strong in 2020

John Butler, Contributing writer

Mercyhurst baseball is seeking its third consecutive trip to the College World Series as the new season begins in West Virginia. The Lakers’ flag has proudly waved outside the entrance of Coleman Field since the 2019Division II College Series in Cary, North Carolina.

The team has been kicking it into high gear during the beginning of the spring term by getting in the cages and throwing bullpen sessions. They are preparing for another long and exhausting season that they hope will end again at the College World Series.

Lakers coach Joe Spano is heading into his 21st season on the bench. This year’s Mercyhurst squad will see a lot of familiar names returning. Despite losing last season’s entire starting rotation, Spano has brought in recruits while building trust in his remaining upperclassmen.

“You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone,” is the attitude Spano plans to cultivate for his team on and off the field this season. Having lots of upperclassmen to lead and foster the freshmen into college ballplayers is extremely important in keeping the Mercyhurst baseball legacy alive, he said. For now, the team plans to win by getting great starting pitching, timely hitting, good defense and, most importantly, relievers closing the door.

The Lakers are optimistic that they have all of the key ingredients to make another run in May to be the Atlantic Super Regional Champions before heading to their third consecutive College World Series. Success will be the end result if the team meshes well together while also meeting the high preseason expectations through national, regional and conference polls, Spano said.

Last month, Mercyhurst was ranked sixth in the preseason national poll and first in both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Atlantic Region and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Each of these ranking expect Mercyhurst to be highly competitive once again with a successful campaign.

The Lakers will open the 2020 season by traveling to Glenville, West Virginia on Feb. 20 for six nonconference games. The Lakers will compete against Concord University twice, Glenville State College, Davis & Elkins College and Wheeling University.

A full list of the game times and dates can be found on