Cougars baseball can replace senior losses from last season

Cougars baseball can replace senior losses from last season

by -
0 1702
Anthony Rivera make a catch in the infield. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Having lost seven seniors from last years’ squad, there are big shoes to fill on the Centereach baseball lineup that the new senior leadership will be looking to fill this season.

A.J. Glass hurls a fastball from the mound. Photo by Bill Landon
A.J. Glass hurls a fastball from the mound. Photo by Bill Landon

The Cougars looked loose and the camaraderie was easily heard as three different batting teams drilled through a simulated scrimmage. In-between batters, nets shielded the players on the first and third baselines as they batted ground balls to the infielders. Head coach Michael Herrschaft, who was thankful for the good weather compared to years past where snow forced the teams indoors, manned the electric ball launcher — firing high fly balls to the outfielders, and not a minute was wasted.

Herrschaft said this year will be a test as to who can step up and make a difference at this level of play.

“It’s a lot of unknowns, because they haven’t proven themselves [at the varsity level],” the coach said. “They’re going to have to step it up and show that they can handle it at this level.”

Having missed the postseason last year, the Cougars are looking to make a run this season.

Senior pitcher and first baseman A.J. Glass said that despite some tough League IV competition he is optimistic about his team’s chances.

“When we take the field I’d like to think that we’re the team to beat in this league, but West Islip has a very good team,” Glass said. “They’ve proven themselves many times — they swept us last season and we don’t want to let that happen again. We want to show them that we’re playoff contenders just like they are.”

The Cougars will size up their competition in three scrimmages before their league opener. They’ll host Longwood for a scrimmage on March 18, take on crosstown rival Newfield on March 21 and play Longwood again, this time, on the road, two days later.

“Right now this early in the season, you don’t know what you have until you see them facing varsity-caliber kids,” Herrschaft said. “Of the seven seniors that graduated from last year, most of them were starters, so it is a new group.”

Matt Traube snags the ball up high for the tag at second base. Photo by Bill Landon
Matt Traube snags the ball up high for the tag at second base. Photo by Bill Landon

Nick Juvelier, a senior who didn’t try out for the team last season, likes his team’s chances with each returning player being a year older and a year stronger.

“We have to bat as well as we did last season, because most of our seniors last year batted over .300, and our juniors didn’t,” he said, adding that a positive he sees is sophomore Nick Corsaro, who will be a starter this season.

Kevin Amaya, a junior, minimized the loss of the seniors from a year ago because he knows the sophomores and juniors on the squad have a special bond.

“The underclassmen always look up to the seniors, but we’ve all been playing together as a squad, juniors and sophomores, since I was in seventh grade,” he said.

Centereach opens their season on the road against North Babylon March 29 with the first pitch scheduled at 4 p.m.

“If their infield play and their bats equal their character,” Herrschaft said, “it’s going to be a fun season.”

Having lost seven seniors from last years’ squad, there are big shoes to fill on the Centereach baseball lineup that the new senior leadership will be looking to fill this season.

The Cougars looked loose and the camaraderie was easily heard as three different batting teams drilled through a simulated scrimmage. In-between batters, nets shielded the players on the first and third baselines as they batted ground balls to the infielders. Head coach Michael Herrschaft, who was thankful for the good weather compared to years past where snow forced the teams indoors, manned the electric ball launcher — firing high fly balls to the outfielders, and not a minute was wasted.

Herrschaft said this year will be a test as to who can step up and make a difference at this level of play.

“It’s a lot of unknowns, because they haven’t proven themselves [at the varsity level],” the coach said. “They’re going to have to step it up and show that they can handle it at this level.”

Having missed the postseason last year, the Cougars are looking to make a run this season.

Senior pitcher and first baseman A.J. Glass said that despite some tough League IV competition he is optimistic about his team’s chances.

Anthony Rivera drives a ground-ball hit. Photo by Bill Landon
Anthony Rivera drives a ground-ball hit. Photo by Bill Landon

“When we take the field I’d like to think that we’re the team to beat in this league, but West Islip has a very good team,” Glass said. “They’ve proven themselves many times — they swept us last season and we don’t want to let that happen again. We want to show them that we’re playoff contenders just like they are.”

The Cougars will size up their competition in three scrimmages before their league opener. They’ll host Longwood for a scrimmage on March 18, take on crosstown rival Newfield on March 21 and play Longwood again, this time, on the road, two days later.

“Right now this early in the season, you don’t know what you have until you see them facing varsity-caliber kids,” Herrschaft said. “Of the seven seniors that graduated from last year, most of them were starters, so it is a new group.”

Nick Juvelier, a senior who didn’t try out for the team last season, likes his team’s chances with each returning player being a year older and a year stronger.

“We have to bat as well as we did last season, because most of our seniors last year batted over .300, and our juniors didn’t,” he said, adding that a positive he sees is sophomore Nick Corsaro, who will be a starter this season.

Kevin Amaya, a junior, minimized the loss of the seniors from a year ago because he knows the sophomores and juniors on the squad have a special bond.

“The underclassmen always look up to the seniors, but we’ve all been playing together as a squad, juniors and sophomores, since I was in seventh grade,” he said.

Centereach opens their season on the road against North Babylon March 29 with the first pitch scheduled at 4 p.m.

“If their infield play and their bats equal their character,” Herrschaft said, “it’s going to be a fun season.”