Home Homepage Latest Stories Montclair State Is Poised for a Huge Season

Montclair State Is Poised for a Huge Season

by Zachary Papenberg

After finishing 26-11 last season, Montclair State University baseball is fired up to begin the 2024 season. These Red Hawks have put in a lot of work over the off-season and are ready to face any challenge that is put in front of them.

Graduate student and infielder Sam Angelo has been determined this off season to continue improving his swing and have momentum carry over from last year. Angelo’s performance in 2023 led earned him a D3baseball.com First Team All-American nod. Angelo had a dominant season at the plate and ended the season on a 19-game hitting streak while also leading the team in batting average at .457.

Montclair State was ranked third in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Matt Deluca | The Montclarion

Montclair State was ranked third in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Matt Deluca | The Montclarion

“We are just taking it one day at a time,” Angelo said. “The guys are really working hard every single day at practice and getting prepared. We start Tuesday so we are just looking to work harder every single day and take it one day at a time.”

That is not all Angelo has been working on this off season. He has also focused on his defensive ability being at first base as he wants to be an all around player.

“I am really looking forward to my base work around the bag and the right step to take,” Angelo said. “When hard ground balls come at me, I want to stop it. It is coming at you pretty hard so being able to block it up or getting that initial reaction is going to be really big for me at first base this year.”

Another player who has spent a lot of time working on his craft this off season is senior pitcher Jack Haveson. He is set on doing whatever it takes to obtain better pitching mechanics, getting his whole body involved to perform one fluent motion.

Senior pitcher Jack Haveson against Wlliam Patterson last season. Matt Deluca | The Montclarion

Senior pitcher Jack Haveson against William Patterson last season. Matt Deluca | The Montclarion

“For me, it has always been kind of a feel thing,” Haveson said. “If I am throwing balls or if my velocity isn’t there and my curveball and slider are not moving, I work from the bottom, up. Start with the legs and hips making sure they are right. Then, I work up to the back and make sure that my posture is right. Then, it usually kind of starts to flow.”

During the off season, Haveson focused on widening his pitching arsenal and really having a variety of options to use when he steps on the mound. One of those pitches that he has really zoned in on is the change up.

“I have been developing the change up,” Haveson said. “It is what you would call a work in progress but we are working on it every day. So, hopefully I can use that effectively in the upcoming season.”

These are just two members that make up this Red Hawk team. Head coach Dave Lorber, who is entering his fifth season at Montclair State, has helped bring immediate success to the program. He has an overall record of 85-38, and Montclair State made the NCAA Tournament in 2022 for the first time since 2009.

“Sam is a tireless worker,” Lorber said. “Where Jack is a little bit more of a show-up and give me the ball and let’s compete kind of guy. They are both different players but both found success in their own right.”

There are many reasons to be excited about Montclair State’s 2024, and it goes beyond having an extremely talented roster. The team is extremely excited to play in their brand new stadium.

“The renovation at Yogi Berra Stadium is just fantastic,” Lorber said. “It’s arguably one of the premiere destinations in the North East for college baseball. For players who are interested in Montclair State, it gives them the opportunity to have a home where they can develop and really be proud of. I can’t thank our administration and those who made it happen enough. It is a beautiful facility and we can’t wait to open it up soon.”

Montclair State baseball has the potential to really turn heads this upcoming season with a plethora of young talent along with a great group of returning players. And with new renovations to their facilities, the future of the team will continue to improve, especially with recruiting.

The Red Hawks start the season on Wednesday, Feb. 21 with a match up against Maritime College at home, and they will look to start the season off strong.

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