The 2014-15 baseball team is looking to bounce back after a disappointing season last year. With only seven sophomores returning, expectations are high and the pressure will be on our freshman to step up right away.
Returning sophomores are Cody Dietz (Rockford), Oscar Castro (Arizona), Mario Pacheco (Arizona), Nick Panzica (Minonk), Nick Jehle (Elmwood), Angel Vega (Puerto Rico) and Wyatt Nale (Arizona). Dietz and Pacheco will be a big asset this year with their maturity on the mound as they work with the incoming freshman mindset on the mound. Castro and Jehle working behind the plate will be a big help calling pitches and throwing players out. Panzica, Nale and Vega will be working the infield and the combined talents of these three players will produce a solid infield. The seven sophomores have worked hard and know that effort will pay off. I see big things coming from these players this year.
We have also some strong, scrappy, local talent coming in this year to tighten up the loose ends: Bryant Lilly and Frankie Perino (both from Sterling), AJ Murdock and Angelo Valdes (both from Dixon), Evan Smith, Keifer Znaniecki, Dayton Tharp (all from Moline), Derek Kennell (Roanoke), Justin Hitchcock (Rockridge), and others coming from the surrounding area.
As this season starts, I am excited and confident that our group of players will achieve their goals on and off the field. It should be a lot of fun for us this year!