CAMBRIDGE, MA. -- The Lesley Lynx baseball team had an influx of young talent this season, but was led by a class of five talented and dedicated seniors.
Steven DePalma, a pitcher/outfielder from Albertson, New York, contributed for four seasons from the mound, at the plate, and in the field. DePalma made thirty pitching appearances for the Lynx in his career, making eight starts on the mound and collecting 69 strikeouts. He hit .252 in 103 total games, collecting 20 doubles, 2 triples, six home runs, and driving in 39 runs. DePalma was named to the All-NECC Second Team as an outfielder in his sophomore season, where he hit .307 with a .956 OPS. He was off to a hot start in his senior season, hitting .308 with a homer and five stolen bases in seven games in the field.
Javi Martinez, a third baseman from Chelsea, Massachusetts, came over to the Lynx in his junior season after beginning his career at Newbury College. Martinez made an impact immediately in his first season, hitting .328 with three home runs and three triples. He drove in 23 runs and walked 12 times. Martinez was also off to a great start at the plate in his senior year. He was hitting .367 with four doubles in his seven games. In 43 games at Lesley, Martinez collected 52 hits for a .335 batting average.
Will Rhone, a shortstop from North Haven, Connecticut, was a reliable presence up the middle for the Lynx. In 308 total chances in 109 career games, Rhone committed only 12 errors, good for a .961 career fielding percentage. Rhone was named to the All-NECC Second Team in his sophomore year as a second baseman after hitting .327 with three home runs, while scoring 26 runs and stealing seven bases.
Brendan Fairchild, a catcher from Temecula, California, was another defensive stopper for the Lynx. Fairchild appeared in 63 games behind the plate for the Lynx, committing only five errors in four years. He finishes with a .986 career fielding percentage and was yet to commit an error in his senior year. Fairchild hit a career high with a .993 percentage in his sophomore year. He also threw out fifteen total runners over his four years, good for 21.4% caught stealing rate. Fairchild hit .256 with ten doubles and two homers over his career.
Pablo Casas, a pitcher/outfielder from Cardiff, California, came to the Lynx in his sophomore year and made an impact on the mound. Casas made seven appearances in his first year, starting three games and going 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He struck out 14 batters in 21 innings and finished one complete game. This season, Casas started off well in both of his two starts, despite picking up two losses. He threw three scoreless innings in his first start against Muhlenberg and was able to shut down Juniata's lineup for five innings after a rocky start.
"I miss the sense of working towards something and having a goal to achieve," says Martinez. "I miss going out there with my brothers to compete."
DePalma and Rhone both encourage other student-athletes to remember how valuable the time they spend with their teams are and to take advantage of every opportunity. "You never really know what can happen in life or in baseball," Rhone reflects. "Work hard now, put in the work now…take this time to get faster, stronger, and win that spot you want. It's a second chance for people."
This senior class finished with a total record of 61-63-1 and a 31-21 conference record. They made the NECC Tournament in all of their first three seasons. In their freshman year, this class was part of a 2017 NECC Champion team that also made a small run in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. The Lynx were NECC runners up in this class' second season and made the tournament again in their third.
"This group has come in dedicated to making themselves better, dedicated to making this program better, and dedicated to making Lesley Baseball the best it can be," says head coach Seth Kaplan. "I'm so proud that this group of men can go out together as the champions that they are. Thank you to the group that helped bring home 2017 NECC Championship and thank you to a great group of seniors who have made my job easier."