BY COLE McNANNA // March 23, 2017 //
With plenty of arms ready to throw innings, the baseball team will soon be playing after this extended winter’s snow finally leaves the fields to reveal only green grass.
The squad has already seen plenty clear baseball fields playing 11 games between two visits to the southern region of the nation in Georgia and Florida. Although holding a 2-9 record wasn’t exactly the expectation.
Senior captain Brian Burke noted that, “Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted but I think there are positives we can take out of the trip and most importantly we know what we need to improve on going into conference play.”
One of the strengths that did show itself in the warm weather was the pitching staff. Led by conference all-stars, junior Dave Griffin and sophomore Matt Fogarty, the bullpen houses plenty of hurlers to get the Colonels through the dog days of spring with another roughly 30 games to play in roughly 40 days.
The trio of Burke, Griffin, and Fogarty will headline the starting pitching with freshman James Mello also getting starts according to head coach Dave Perdios, entering his 17th year in the dugout. In the relief part of the staff, Perdios was excited about the way one junior threw the ball over his time on the mound in Florida.
“Kevin Jones threw the ball excellent down in Florida over two outings,” Perdios remarked, “very pleased.” After him, classmates Matt Hailey and Nick Kinsella will also be relied on as well as freshman Tyler Nadeau, among others.
One area of concern will certainly be the infield and it is already throwing the skipper for a loop. Freshman Mike Moreau was thought to hold down the second base slot, but soreness in his arm forced backup outfielder junior John Cave to fill the void for the end of the Florida trip.
“Tough day that last day we lost in 12 innings and made eight errors,” Perdios noted. “We were ahead twice in bottom of innings and we couldn’t hold it and it was errors both times…guys just broke down, our depth caught up to us that last day.”
Another key to their success is going to be staying healthy, already being exemplified with the outfielder in the infield. In addition, Fogarty has been battling an ankle issue since the first day of the trip and despite no break showing up on an X-Ray, he is still limited in practice as of now.
“He was back to practice two days ago (Monday), still taking it slow, but I expect him to be in the lineup the next time we play,” Coach Perdios said.
That next time out should not be too much farther away as the hopes are high that the snow will be gone by early next week. Once the season really gets going, Perdios expects it to come down to the bats he arranges to keep them in and win games.
“If we hit .270 as a team I think we’ll be fine. If we don’t, I think we’ll struggle to be in games because we just can’t score runs,” coach said simply.
At the end of the day the guys just want to play baseball and nearing the ends of some careers can make some think. Senior co-captain Vinny LoPriore reflected on his time and mentioned, “In my last year it would be great to go out on top but if I’m not lucky enough for that, then I just want to lead the way and show the younger guys how to win so they can carry on the tradition for years to come.”
Soon enough the ping of the bat will fill the Jack Vallely Diamond and there will be baseball at Curry College once again.