February 18, 2010

2010 Season Preview

There are a lot of positive things that can happen having a young team. But there are even better things that can happen when a team has a high-level of maturity. Bloomsburg baseball coach Mike Collins feels that the maturity his team possesses is the strength of this year's team.

"I think our maturity is the key to this year's team," said Collins. "Last year we possessed talent but we were unable to weather the storm and rebound when things got tough. That was largely due to the youth in our line-up. The guys learned that a college baseball season is a marathon not a sprint and consistency is the key. I feel that the struggles we faced last season taught us how to believe in yourself and bounce back from a sub-par performance."

Collins feels this team has the necessary skills and desire to be very successful.

"The players worked hard and sacrificed throughout the summer fall and winter in preparation for the spring and I believe they are mentally and physically ready," Collins said. "There's nothing about the team that does surprise me. We are as I imagined. I know these guys well and I know how badly they want to succeed. We don't have a lot of rah-rah type personalities. However, their intentions and goals are evident in their actions every day. These guys want success as badly as any team I've coached."

POSITION BY POSITION

STARTING PITCHER

The key to any team, especially at the collegiate level is pitching. The Huskies return three very talented conference starters who are capable of beating anyone in the PSAC East in Grant Kernaghan, Vinny Voorhees and Chris Tressler. The trio has faced and beaten the best the league has to offer. Bloomsburg lost two of them due to injury last year, but this season they are healthy and ready. The fourth spot is up for grabs with a battle among Chris Carter and David Langton for the spot. Cody Boren, Tyler Gansner and Mitch Troy are also possible candidates.

BULLPEN

Out of the pen Joe Crossin and Mike Rossetti are the experienced guys that can handle the pressure that comes with that role. Anthony Forman and Matt Dean have shown great promise on the mound and can add great depth to the pitching staff.

CATCHER

Behind the plate the Huskies have a pair of outstanding defensive catchers in Corey Eisenhart and Scott Kacelowicz. Both guys are outstanding in shutting down an opponent's running game. They have come a long way offensively since last year and expect to see a greater offensive contribution from both guys. Nick Eversole will give the team some depth.

INFIELD

At shortstop Tony Donofry is the centerpiece of the Huskies infield. He has improved in every phase of the game every year he has been at Bloomsburg. Donofry can hit for average and power; can steal bases and play great defense.

New to the lineup this year at second base is Joey Ianiero. A transfer from Rutgers he is an excellent hitter and base runner. Ianiero possesses instincts at the plate and on the bases that will make him an ideal leadoff guy.

At first base Jarrod Kramer will make across the diamond from third. Kramer has really dedicated himself to the weight room and has greatly improved his work with the bat. Taking over at third base is Gino Wise, a transfer from Delaware Tech. Wise is an athletic player who can hit with power and run. At Delaware Tech last spring he hit .409 with two homers and 28 RBI.

In addition, Bloomsburg has several talented guys providing depth with Keith Meyer, Jerry Lloyd and Seth Pauling. Lloyd and Pauling both power hitters are strong candidates for DH. Both Lloyd and Pauling hit well last fall, while Meyer is a versatile middle infielder who can run the bases and put a lot of pressure on defenders.

OUTFIELD

In the Huskies outfield Chris Tressler is the most experienced and capable outfielder. Tressler can run and play all three positions and will hit anywhere from 2-4 in the line-up. Along with Tressler, Eric Ebert is a left-handed, power-hitting freshman that has shown great offensive potential and should make a splash right away in leftfield. Devin McLaughlin is a speedy centerfielder who will cover a lot of ground and help lower the team ERA. McLaughlin is a good bunter and should develop into a fine base stealer. Ryan Nanni is left-handed hitting right fielder that is a solid defender and shows pop at the plate and will also see plenty time in the outfield when Tressler is pitching.

Collins and his team will begin play as usual in Virginia the Apprentice tournament and will then head south for the team's annual spring break trip against teams in North and South Carolina. In the middle of March the team will begin play in the always tough PSAC East, where the team was picked to finish last.

"The PSAC East is so tough from top to bottom," said Collins. "Predictions are difficult. However I believe we will be in the top four heading into the conference tournament. These guys have been through this before. They know what lies ahead and there should be no surprises. They are ready."

Whatever the prediction by others, Collins says this year's team is already motivated and ready to go. "Regardless of what label people put on a team, this team is striving to play at the same high level all the time," Collins commented. "We are playing and practicing harder because we want to reach our full potential. Proving someone wrong would be a bonus."