FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Fayetteville SwampDogs have added a big bat and bolstered their pitching staff with the addition of the Mountain Hawks from Lehigh University.
Junior Patrick Donnelly will man the hot corner while sophomore Peter Moore and junior Matt Kozemchak will provide the SwampDogs with quality pitching from the left side – keys to any championship team.
Donnelly is a key cog in the Lehigh lineup coming off a first team All-Patriot League campaign as a Sophomore in 2015. Coming off a six home run season with 32 RBIs, he figures to be a run producer and tough out in Fayetteville this summer.
“Pat will bring a veteran presence to our team as a junior,” SwampDogs Manager Anthony Williams says. “He has started at third base since his freshman year, helping Lehigh to a Patriot League title in 2015. Pat has shown the ability to hit for power, and is showing that he has the ability to hit for average as well.”
Moore, who stands 6-3, 220 lbs., displayed his knack for striking opponents out in his freshman season at Lehigh, fanning 29 batters in 26.2 innings pitched. The Chester, N.Y. native looks to see an even greater role on the field this year for the Mountain Hawks, after making seven starts last year.
His talents are not only limited to the baseball diamond, as Moore holds four school records in swimming at Warwick Valley High School. Moore is a star in the classroom as well – the Civil Engineering major finished in the top 10 percent of his class and was a member of the National Honor Society.
“Pete made seven starts in 2015 as a freshman and has shown the ability to miss some bats,” Williams commented. “We expect him to be a kid that continues to grow and gain command and as he does he will only get better and better.”
Kozemchak enters the 2016 season looking to bounce back after an injury cut short his 2015 season after just two appearances. As a freshman in 2014, Kozemchak posted a 2-0 record with a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched.
Kozemchak was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week once during his freshman season, and named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2015.
“Pete and Matt should both be valuable left-handed arms for us in 2016. Both have the ability to start or relieve. Matt had an injury shortened 2015 campaign but is looking for a bounce back season as a starter for Lehigh this season. He has already made 4 starts in 2016 and is second on the team in innings pitched. Coach Leary really likes Matt’s makeup and feel for pitching and we expect that to mesh well with the SwampDogs in 2016.”
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are coached by Sean Leary and compete in the Patriot League in N.C.A.A. Division I. The Mountain Hawks are the defending Patriot League champions, but were bounced in the N.C.A.A. Tournament regionals by Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pa.
The Fayetteville SwampDogs home opener for the 2016 season is Wednesday, June 1st. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 910-426-5900, or by visiting www.goswampdogs.com/tickets.
About the SwampDogs:
The Fayetteville SwampDogs enter their 16th season playing in the Coastal Plain League. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 11 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast 90 alumni taken in the draft and have produced six players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit their team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs and like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
About the Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.