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A program-record 16 wins last year has the Hamilton College baseball team aiming for bigger and better things in 2014. Hamilton defeated each of its four NESCAC West Division opponents and first baseman/outfielder Gabe Klein '13 was an all-conference selection for the second straight year in 2013. The Continentals led the NESCAC with a team-record 85 stolen bases, 29 of which were recorded by Joe Jensen '15, who shattered the program mark with that total. Tommy Moriarty '14 topped the conference with six saves and 27 appearances, and JJay Lane '15 ranked third with a 1.46 earned run average. All three of those performances were good for team records. Moriarty, Colin Henneberger '14, Steve LaRochelle '14 and Joe Wagner '14 are the seniors. Andrew Haser '17, twins Chris '17 and Kenny Collins '17, Ryan Wolfsberg '17, Brett Mele '17 and University of Wisconsin transfer David Rose '16 should all see significant playing time in their first season on The Hill.

Hamilton competes in the NESCAC's West Division with Williams College, Amherst College, Middlebury College and Wesleyan University. The NESCAC sends its overall conference champion to the NCAA Division III regionals. One baseball national champion and one NCAA runner-up have come from the conference since 1994 -- the first year NESCAC teams could compete for the NCAA championship. Amherst finished in third place out of eight teams at the Auburn, N.Y., Regional in 2013.

The Continentals are scheduled to play 12 games during a two-week trip to Florida in March. The first home date of 2014 is scheduled for April 5 against Tufts University. Hamilton hosts Middlebury for three games on April 11 and 12 and Wesleyan for a three-game set on April 18 and 19. The Continentals play the 27th Jackie Robinson Game against Utica College at Murnane Field on April 8.

Zack Becker '16 is the leading returner on offense with a .323 batting average on 30 hits in 93 at-bats. Becker walked 14 times for a .434 on-base percentage and stole 11 bases. Jensen tied a team record with 30 runs scored last year and is already third in career stolen bases. He hit .307 with 42 hits in 137 at-bats and drove in 22 runs. Henneberger posted a .295 batting average with 23 hits in 78 at-bats and swiped 10 bases.

On the mound, Lane led the way with his sparkling ERA. He walked just seven batters in 37 innings of work. Lane had plenty of help as Alex Pachella '15 recorded a 3.14 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 43 innings. Pachella pitched two complete games in seven starts and tossed a shutout. Henneberger contributed a 4.55 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 27.2 innings that covered five starts. Moriarty was the workhorse out of the bullpen with a 4.29 ERA in 42 innings. He is in second place on the team's all-time list in appearances and saves. Andrew Jaffoni '15 was another valuable arm in the bullpen with a 1.96 ERA and one save in 13 appearances that covered 18.1 innings.

Klein, who transferred to Hamilton after one year at Fairfield University, completed a spectacular three-year baseball career with the Continentals last May. He made the 2013 NESCAC all-conference first team after he was on the all-conference and D3baseball.com Northeast Region all-region teams in 2012. He broke his own team record for walks in a season last year with 30 and finished third in walks on the program's all-time list. He is the team's all-time leader with an on-base percentage of .469, tied for third in doubles and is ranked fourth in career batting average. He also made the 2013 NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team.

Hamilton won 10 or more games every year from 2008 to 2010. It was the first time the Continentals posted double-digit victories three seasons in a row since the program was formed in 1884.

Hamilton set team records for most runs, hits, runs batted in, doubles and total bases in 2009. Six players established eight single-season individual marks as well. Pitcher Max Foster '10 was a NESCAC all-conference first team selection. Foster became the team's first all-conference honoree since Steve Guillette '01 made the second team in 1999.

John Porges '07 was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) in 2005 when he made the New York Region's all-region third team. Porges set program records with 78 total bases and 31 RBI and tied another record with seven homers. First baseman Sean Fay '98 received third team all-region honors in 1998. Sam Choate '12 graduated as Hamilton's all-time leader in hits, runs, triples, total bases and stolen bases.

Foster and Alex Augustyn '10 graduated in 2010 after enjoying two of the best careers in Hamilton baseball history. Foster set career records with 187 innings pitched and 163 strikeouts and finished in the top five in three other categories. He is tied for the team record with 62 strikeouts in a season. Augustyn holds career marks with a .371 batting average and 30 doubles and is in the top five in four other categories. His 14 doubles in 2009 are a season record.

Hamilton's home is the Royce Baseball Field, which is named for Steve Royce (Class of 1914). Royce played professional baseball with the old New York Giants for one season. After he graduated from Hamilton in June of 1914, Royce joined a State League team in Binghamton but was transferred to the Giants before he could play any games. The pitcher's control was praised by several veterans, including Cy Young. The season ended in the fall, and Royce enrolled at New York University in order to pursue a career in law. He never played professional baseball again.