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MNE spring sports previewed

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 11:00am

Gearing up for spring, Mercyhurst North East unveiled its seasonal sports preview today, including baseball (pictured), softball and lacrosse. Check the MNE athletics website for more details, including team rosters and schedules.


The MNE Saints baseball team is anxious to return to the field after winning the Region III Championship in 2017. Jake Marinelli takes over as head coach of the Saints. Marinelli was a 2015 graduate of Mercyhurst University and a four-year standout player, helping to lead the Lakers to the program’s first-ever college World Series appearance and a ranking of 4th in the country. Marinelli made his coaching debut in the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL) for the Hornell Dodgers. In 2016, Marinelli joined the coaching staff at Mercyhurst University. During Marinelli’s two-year coaching stint with the Lakers, they had three players selected in the MLB draft and two consecutive top 10 finishes. Rob Julian, a four-year standout pitcher at Allegheny College who lead the country in fewest walks per inning, will serve as assistant coach.


After a multi-year hiatus, lacrosse returned to Mercyhurst North East last year. The team brings back the majority of its players along with an exciting incoming freshman class. This is the second season for head coach Eric Miccio, who helped mentor two All-WNYAC players (Donavan Brown and Jacob Norton); guided an All-Region III Selection (Donavan Brown) and an NJCAA Academic All-American (Jacob Norton). Miccio brings nearly a decade of playing and coaching experience at the elite levels to the Saints. While in high school at West Genesee (NY), Miccio helped lead his team to a 2008 Class A State Championship and was awarded the Section III Sportsmanship Award and the Bradly J Carr Award. Miccio continued his playing career for Onondaga Community College, serving as team captain and winning back-to-back NJCAA National Championships in 2009 and 2010. He continued his playing career at NCAA DIII SUNY Oswego, helping to lead his team to a successful two-year run. Miccio served as the Defensive & Recruiting Coordinator for the men's lacrosse team at Oswego and as the Interim Head Coach for the Oswego Lakers.

David Salter is an assistant coach and Defensive and Recruiting Coordinator. The Frederick, Maryland, native was a two-time captain and three-year player for NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey College. Most recently, Salter competed in the Euro Games for Team Latvia. He has played on the Latvian National Team for the past four years.


The Saints softball team finished the 2017 season with a record of 42-10 and a seeding of 12th in the nation. In addition to making the World Series, six players were named all-WNYAC, four of which went on to become All-Region, three of those were named All Americans. Head coach Brian Dewey enters his 16th year at the helm of the Saints. Last year, Dewey was named WNYAC Coach of the Year, the seventh time he received that honor. Under his leadership, the Saints have been to the National Tournament nine out of 15 seasons. In 2016, Dewey guided the Saints to the Western New York Athletic Conference Championship, the Region 3/15/21 championship, and went on to win the District Championship and a spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. Dewey is a native of Erie and graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2000. He also serves as the athletic director.

Under the direction of Assistant Coach Ron Bretz, the Saints pitching staff has been among the best in the nation, helping the Saints get to the NJCAA National Tournament for nine consecutive years. He was honored in 2011, 2013, and 2014 as the NFCA East Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Bretz pitched men's fast pitch for 19 years and has been involved in coaching at numerous levels. For 11 years, he was the head coach at Ripley High School, leading the Eagles to numerous county and division championships.