Contact InformationKen Hopkins
Assistant Head Coach
Head Athletic Trainer
About Men's Baseball
- Rheal Cormier Jersey Retirement Ceremony
- Baseball Season Preview 2013
- Baseball 2012 Season Summary
- Summer Development Camps
- Former Knights hurler Hertzler drafted by the Oakland A's in the 15th round with pick #480
- Ken Hopkins with Frank Viola
The Community College of Rhode Island Knights baseball program has a rich tradition of success. Since its inception in 1965, the program has progressed to national prominence and has maintained this level for the past decade. The program has placed several of their players in professional baseball with two former players playing in the Major Leagues. These players are Rheal Cormier of the Philadelphia Phillies and Allen Levrault of the Florida Marlins.
Former CCRI Knights pitcher Brad Hertzler (East Providence, RI) who played for the Knights in 2006 was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 15th round with pick #480.
Hertzler, a left handed pitcher, was a First Team All-Region XXI Pitcher who was stellar for the Knights with a 5-1 record and a 1.469 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. Brad is currently a starter for the University of Maine Black Bears where he led the team with a 3.58 ERA and also led the team with 71 strikeouts with a 4-5 record throwing two complete games with one shutout. Season highlights included a 10 strikeout performance versus Miami, a nine strikeout performance versus UMBC, and an eight strikeout complete game performance versus Vermont. Hertzler is only a Junior so he has a decision to make on whether he will return to the University of Maine for his Senior season or go pro.
Hertzler was previously drafted in 2004 in the 32nd by the Boston Red Sox who his brother Barry Hertzler currently plays for with the AA affiliate Portland Sea Dogs. Brad was drafted in 2004 after being nominated 2004 Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year.
With an experienced group of returning players and talented new recruits, the Community College of Rhode Island men’s baseball team is ready to defend its Eastern title. The squad will be led by co-captains Nick Coro (North Providence, RI) and Mike Sherburne (North Kingstown, RI). First Team All-New England selection Conor Gleason (North Stonington, CT) will lead the pitching staff and Andrew Crowley (Simsbury, CT) returns to man third base. Tyler Santaniello (Lincoln, RI) will add depth to the batting order and serve as DH. He will get some defensive opportunities at third base and left field. Dylan Gracia, (Middletown, RI) will patrol centerfield and bat in the No. 1 slot. His on-base percentage is one of the highest in the region and his defensive abilities in center field are solid. Chris Girard (Stonington, CT) will compete for playing time at first base and will be a strong right-handed hitter if needed as a pinch hitter or DH. Other returning players include left-handed pitchers Max Perry (Pawtucket, RI) and Dylan Pingatore (Johnston, RI) and right-handers Kevin Dale (Warwick, RI) and Rob West (East Windsor, CT).
All eyes will be focused on the recruiting class brought in by the coaching staff to fill in for strong players that have moved on to four-year programs. Transfers from the University of Rhode Island will be counted on to play important roles in the upcoming season. Ryan Odell (Lincoln, RI) will play shortstop and hit near the top of the order. Odell will receive plenty of back up help from pitcher Gian Abbruzzese (North Providence, RI) when he comes in to pitch out of the bullpen. Rob Dacosta (Cranston, RI), a very athletic middle infielder, will see action as a utility infielder. Jake Tillman (Johnston, RI) can serve as DH, play outfield, first base and pitch out of the bullpen. His bat control and ability to move runners will find him in the second spot in the batting order throughout the season. Jay Ferri (North Kingstown, RI), who can throw a 90-plus mph fastball, will be the team’s closer.
Coach Hopkins describes this year’s freshmen recruits as “one of the finest in the history of the program.” Left-handed hitters Joe Yankee (Lincoln, RI) and Jacob Saley (Trumbull, CT) will patrol left field. Speedy Chris Pistacchio (Johnston, RI) will share duties in centerfield with Dylan Gracia. Zack Wood (Jewitt City, CT) a powerful hitter, will see time as a third base back up to Crowley, a DH and No. 3 catcher. Ryan Wordell (Little Compton, RI) and Pat O’Keefe (East Greenwich, RI) will share catching duties. Jonathon Vasquez (Bridgeport, CT), a 6-foot, 5-inch lefty from powerful St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull, Conn. will see plenty of action as one of the top defensive first baseman in the region. Top recruits Keegan Dellacona (Hyannis, MA), a First Team All-Stater in the Bay State, will pitch near the top of the rotation. Another strong right-handed pitcher from Massachusetts, Dan Depippo, (Scituate, MA) will fill out the starting rotation. Adding depth to the pitching rotation will be CJ Angelo (Trumbull, CT), a crafty right-handed pitcher, and lefty Marc Boutliere (Orlando, FL), an experienced pitcher who is effective against left-handed hitters. Kory Lawrence (Woonsocket, RI), Matt Laferierre (Coventry, RI), and Shane Johnson (Warwick, RI), will start and come out of the bullpen. American International College transfer Sam Morgan (Cranston, RI) is a left-handed pitcher.
With 31 players on the roster, Coach Hopkins is optimistic about the team’s prospects for the season and a return trip to Enid, Okla. for the World Series.
The 2012 CCRI baseball season was one of the best in recent history. The Knights won the Region XXI and district championships, earning a trip to the 2012 Division II Baseball World Series in Enid, Okla. The Knights finished the season as one of the top 10 teams in the country with a 31-13 record.
Two historic occasions also set the 2012 season apart. Head Coach Ken Hopkins earned his 300th CCRI career victory when the team defeated Region XXI rival UConn-Avery Point, 3-2, on April 28. In a special ceremony on March 31, the CCRI Department of Athletics retired jersey No. 20 in honor of former All-American Knight and Major Leaguer Rheal Cormier ’88. The ceremony marked the first time in CCRI's 47-year history that the college retired a jersey in honor of an athlete.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the Knights were 29-10 and earned the top seed in the Region XXI championship against UConn-Avery Point. The Knights swept the Pointers in two consecutive games, 5-2 and 3-1. In the first game, pitcher Conor Gleason struck out 10 batters and Mike Sherburne hit two home runs – a solo shot and a two-run bomb, which was the margin of victory. In the deciding game, Brendan Cabral shut down struck out seven batters, holding the Pointers to one run. Cabral’s efforts were assisted by reliever Kevin Dale, who came in to close out the game and help the Knights secure the victory and advance to the East District Championship.
The Knights hosted the Saints of Mercyhurst North East and the Vikings of Westchester Community College in the districts. The team fell to Westchester in the first game, 11-3, and Westchester went on to beat Mercyhurst, 9-6. The Knights eked out a 7-6 win over the Saints and Mercyhurst defeated Westchester to advance to the championship game. To start the eighth inning, Mo Checo hit a solo home run to tie the game 4-4. Dylan Graciadrew a walk and Marc Dorsi followed with a double down the left field line. Co-captain Tom Gavittwas out on a sharp one hopper to shortstop bringing Jamale Horn to the plate. The Saints intentionally walked Horn and Sherburne took his turn at bat with the bases loaded, delivering a grand slam over the batting cage in left field to give the Knights an 8-4 win. With the victory, the Knights advanced to the World Series in Enid, Okla., for the first time since 1988 where they lost two games.
Academics is the priority here at CCRI for all of our student-athletes. The student-athletes are required to attend the Student-Athlete Academic Support Center each week throughout their tenure as a player here at CCRI.
CCRI Baseball is also proud to sponsor and host a variety of youth-centered Developmental Sports Camps. The Camps are directed by the Coaching Staff with the assistance of many of the Community College players. [Download camp brochures]
This page developed and maintained by CCRI Athletics. Send comments and suggestions to .