The start of the 2017 Massachusetts Maritime baseball season is exactly four weeks away, as preparations continue for first pitch, second year Head Coach Mike Kelley has named his captains for the upcoming campaign.
Senior Daniel Avery (Milford, Mass./Blackstone Valley), along with juniors Connor Kennedy (West Barnstable, Mass./Pope John Paul II) and Billy Keane (Braintree, Mass./Braintree), will serve as the Buccaneers’ tri-captains this spring and look to help Massachusetts Maritime make another run at a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title. Avery, a two-time MASCAC Pitcher of the Week honoree in 2016, tied for the team lead with five victories in 13 overall appearances (nine starts) while earning a save along the way. Daniel struck out 55 in 52 2/3 innings of work (9.40 per nine innings), and two of his wins came via shutout.
Kennedy earned first team all-MASCAC accolades after starting 36 of 38 games played in left field for Kelley’s crew last spring, as he batted .356 with 10 doubles, a triple, one homer and 22 RBI. Connor collected a pair of MASCAC Player of the Week honors in April and rapped out three hits in the Buccaneers’ 8-6 ECAC New England quarterfinal round triumph over Brandeis on May 12th. Keane started all 40 games played as Massachusetts Maritime’s center fielder a year ago, as he batted .262 with four triples, five doubles, 16 RBI and seven stolen bases, and he was the catalyst for several late inning rallies, including a five run eighth inning uprising in a 6-3 win over Westfield State in the 2016 MASCAC semifinals.
“Each captain brings intangible leadership qualities to our team that can’t be taught—they are instinctive and honed with hard work throughout the year,” Kelley, who guided his alma mater to 24 victories during his rookie season in 2016, says of his captains. “Dan, Connor and Billy have consistently demonstrated a demanding work ethic that will set the tone for our season, and I have full confidence that they not only continue a longstanding tradition of excellence for the program, they will add to that tradition.”
The Buccaneers begin their 2017 slate on Monday, February 27th with a non-league doubleheader against Houghton (N.Y.) at Lawnwood Park in Fort Pierce, Fla. that begins at 12:30 p.m. EST.