Baseball Season Preview Capsules

Baseball

Northwestern

Coach: Len Smith (32nd season, 359-295).

Last year: 13-8 overall, 9-7 CL.

Postseason: Lost to Lehighton in the District 11 3A quarterfinals.

Top returners: Sr. C Collin Breidinger, Sr. OF Austin Yanek, Jr. OF Taylor Breininger, Jr. P/1B Brandon Eden, Jr. OF Nick Rodriguez, Jr. 3B/P Josh Williamson, So. SS Jake Augustus, So. 2B Brady Mengel.

Key newcomers: Jr. OF Patrick Brannan, Jr. C/3B Dakota Hamm, Jr. P Jordan Storm, So. P/INF Brandon Miller, Fr. INF/OF Isaac Fatzinger, Fr. 1B Tyler Schreiner.

Outlook: By most standards, Northwestern had a successful 2013 campaign. Qualifying for districts is a great accomplishment and the nucleus that achieved that is back in 2014. Smith recognizes that strong class of returning players, but says that this season’s success is depends on the development of their hurlers and underclassmen. If they progress well, the Tigers could be poised to future their trip in districts.

Parkland

Coach: Tony Galucy (12th season, 195-64).

Last year: 22-4 overall, 13-1 LVC (North Division Champ).

Postseason: Defeated Liberty in LVC semi-finals; Lost to Whitehall in LVC final; Defeated Liberty in D-11 4A quarterfinals; Defeated Pocono Mountain West in D-11 4A semi-finals; Defeated Whitehall in D-11 4A final; Lost to North Penn in PIAA first round.

Top returners: Sr. C/OF Zach Merkle, Sr. C Kevin Jones, Sr. DH Hudson Rabenold, Sr. P/SS/1B Gabe Mosser, Sr. P/2B Alex Flynn, Sr. OF Brad Vasilik, Jr. SS/P Chris Rabasco, Jr. P/1B Connor Higgins, Jr. P/1B Rhett Jacoby, Jr. 3B/P Justin Afflerbach.

Key newcomers: Jr. C Dan Zaccaro, So. 2B Tyler Bruno, Sr. 3B/OF Zach Miller, Jr. P/OF Alec Bartholomew, Jr. P/OF Evan McAndrew, Jr. OF/P Jeff Strisovsky, So. OF Isaac Neal, Jr. 3B/P Tanner Stufflet, Jr. 3B/P Harrison Rabenold.

Outlook: Parkland is coming off a great season in 2013, however, they have lost a lot of key pieces from that squad, including 1st team All-LVC catcher, Damin Muth, to graduation. Most of their returners reside on the mound as six pitchers are back for this season. Galucy notes that their offensive firepower is the biggest question mark, but he believes if they can mount runs, they can post wins.

Northampton

Coach: Mick Sugra (4th season, 35-29).

Last year: 10-11 overall, 6-8 LVC.

Postseason: Lost to Freedom in District 11 4A first round.

Top returners: Sr. 1B Matt Durich, Sr. OF Jayden Daubert, Sr. INF Evan Grube, Jr. INF Harley Davidson, So. C Ian Luberti, Sr. P Joey Wittreich.

Key newcomers: Sr. P Nick Pavlacka, Jr. P Noah Durnin, So. P Nick DeMieri.

Outlook: The Konkrete Kids have a nice foundation from last season that they can build on. Sugra admits to having an inexperienced pitching staff, but he returns six starters from last year with varsity experience that he looks to be the core that aid in another playoff push this season.

Northern Lehigh

Coach: Erv Prutzman (8th season, 63-85).

Last year: 4-16 overall, 2-14 CL.

Top returners: Sr. OF/1B Tyler Dibilio, Sr. P/INF Matt Egan, Sr. C Austin Landis, Sr. OF Travis Nelmes, Sr. P Nick Hoffer, Sr. 2B Tom Quigley, Sr. 2B/P Ryan Klass, Sr. C/1B Alex Sigley, Jr. P/1B Josh Hamm, Jr. P/3B John Taylor.

Key newcomers: Sr. OF Brad Owens, Jr. P/OF Jamil Alejandro, Jr. P/INF Dakota Flyte, Jr. P/INF Zach Moll, Jr. P/INF Matt Pender, Jr. OF Jeremie Tomkins.

Outlook: The Bulldogs used to be a mainstay at the top of the Colonial League, but have since faltered. Northern Lehigh is bringing back a lot of experience and talent from last year’s squad, which makes Prutzman believe they will be more competitive this season. The unit will need to gel together and score runs in order to climb back into playoff contention.

Palmerton

Coach: Michael Svetik (2nd season, 6-14).

Last year: 6-14 overall, 3-13 CL.

Top returners: Sr. P/INF Nick Frey, Sr. P/INF/OF Ty Achtermann, Sr. INF Garrett Krome, Jr. INF Nick Sander, Jr. 1B Nate DeKorte Jr., Jr. OF Mark Quinn, Jr. C Casey Cook.

Key newcomers: So. OF Jon Swartz, So. INF Zach Buck, So. P Zach Svetik.

Outlook: Svetik didn’t see the immediate turnaround that he would have liked in his first season last spring. The Bombers lost some good players to graduation, but return a core that Svetik believes will bring more offensive firepower. Once again this season, pitching will be the variable that decides if they can contend or not in 2014.

Lehighton

Coach: Brian Polaha (5th season, 60-35).

Last year: 14-9 overall, 7-5 MVC.

Postseason: Defeated by Stroudsburg in MVC semi-finals; Defeated Northwestern in D-11 3A quarterfinals; Lost to Tamaqua in D-11 3A semi-finals.

Top returners: Sr. SS/P James Farano, Sr. OF/P Anthony Rossino, Sr. C/P Thatcher David, Sr. OF/P Nick Hill, Sr. 1B Vince Mele, Sr. DH/3B Kyle Troch, Sr. P Zach Rex, Jr. OF Jordan Knappenberger, Jr. 3B/P Brady Niehoff.

Key newcomers: So. Brody Hydro, So. C Wyatt Clements, So P/INF Ben Cordova, JR. 2B Zach Kamowski.

Outlook: Lehighton is bringing back some season varsity players, although they did lose their top two players from 2013, including Jacen Nalesnik. Polaha says that his team will lean on good pitching and defense, throughout the season. The Indians experience will be integral to their success and if they stay on course, they could end up in the postseason once again. 

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY