City baseball preview: Stamford, Westhill, Trinity eyeing postseason play
Updated 10:52 pm, Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Stamford High baseball head coach Fred Kelley can't wait for opening day.
"We have a group of 13 seniors. They have been working very hard for four years," Kelley said. "I want good things for this group. I want to see the fruits of their labors come true. I want us to get to the FCIAC and state playoffs and see what happens."
The Black Knights have five pitchers on their staff with experience. Tyler Curto, lefty Derek Kronkowski, Tyler Kane, Matt Sciarretta and Andrew Martin will all see time on the mound as Stamford hopes to improve on its 11-9 season.
Catcher Chris DiPietro will set the table from the leadoff spot. Sophomore Tyler Serricchio will also see time at catcher.
"DiPietro gets us going," Kelley said. "He's a blue collar player and a real spark plug."
"The FCIAC is always loaded. We have our work cut out for us," Kelley said. "I really like our chances. But baseball is a funny game."
"We have some proven pitching," Nichols said
In the pressure cooker of FCIAC baseball, experienced pitching is a must.
Right-handers Danny O'Leary and Mike Palomba along with lefty Randy Polonia will anchor a deep Trinity Catholic pitching staff that learned valuable lessons during the Crusaders' 7-12 campaign last spring.
Co-captains O'Leary (first base when not pitching) and Greg Hajjar (second base) headline a verteran infield that will also boast Palomba and Polonia (shortstops) along with Neno Merritt and Matt Fucigna (third base).
The outfield is unsettled with positions available for those who seized the opportunity.
Trinity Catholic's two biggest problems this preseason have been awful weather along with the availability of Lione Field. Damage from joyriders forced the Crusaders to postpone their first outdoor scrimmage to last Wednesday -- a week before today's opening day.
"We have some ingredients to have a successful season. Our pitching. And our veteran infield will play good defense," Nichols said. "Hopefully, our offense will come around. Especially when the weather warms up. We are on that fine line between being a good team and an extremely good team."
Westhill coach D.J. Mulvany enters the season with a mix of experience and youth.
"The FCIAC is always a grind. It's never a down year in the FCIAC," Mulvany said. "To earn wins, your seniors have to step up."
The strength of the Vikings (7-12) will be in the outfield.
The top of the batting order is solid with Remondino leading off followed by (in no particular order) Pollack, Duggan, first baseman Chris Soule and Longo.
"These kids can compete. And they understand what to expect in the FCIAC," Mulvany said. "With extra contributors, I'm interested to see what happens."