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Brockport baseball's newest recruits up to bat

by Kaleem Mogent-SPORTS EDITOR
Tue, Feb 21st 2017 11:00 pm
Photos courtesy of Brockport Athletic Communications via Flickr
Photos courtesy of Brockport Athletic Communications via Flickr

 A new year for The College at Brockport baseball team began on Sunday in Union, New Jersey.  For the baseball team, a new season isn't the only thing starting fresh; they have a bevy of promising players and some of them are even from Division-I programs.

At first glance the team seemed to have lost all of its key players to last year's graduated class but around 20 new faces have taken those empty  places.  All 20 have specific roles and specialities that compliment the team. The roster is made up of a large group of freshmen  and transfers that will need to step up and fill the cleats left empty after last season.  

Tom Kretzler, an outfielder, and both infielders, Aj Sorgi and Nik Malachowski, are only a few of the brand new faces who have joined the Golden Eagles this year. They hope to contribute as much as they possibly can to help this team win.

Senior Paul Ludden, an All-Conference catcher for the team, commented on how deep this year's roster is.  

"Our team this year has a lot of depth," Ludden said. "There are multiple guys at every position, as well as in the bullpen who will be able to get the job done when called upon. This is critical when we start playing conference or mid-week games when fatigue sets in. This team also has a don't back down mentality; we believe we can beat anyone on any day."  

That sounds familiar to the style of coaching that San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has instilled into his NBA team. It's always the next man up if a player goes down for an injury or when something unexpected happens. Baseball is a sport where ball games are decided by the tiniest detail and having numerous players that can step up to the plate will help this team make the playoffs for the 15th time.

Having close-knit inter-team relations comes into play when introducing many new players to a team. The importance of chemistry can be underrated when forming a championship caliber program. It can throw off an entire team's style of play if a catcher doesn't know what kind of pitches a pitcher can and cannot throw or if the outfielders don't know who is going to catch a fly ball.  

"We have team chemistry like no other and out of all of my collegiate baseball years, this team has the most," Austin Spindler said about the team's cohesiveness.   

He hopes to continue building strong relationships with his teammates throughout this season and into the playoffs.  

Another aspect of the game that should be taken note of is the confidence needed to perform day in and day out.

"Baseball is such a mental sport and you have to be able to keep your emotions in check," returning All-Conference pitcher Sam McCumiskey said. "The part of the game I've improved in would have to be the mental aspect of the game, I believe wholeheartedly that I'm going to win and I won't quit till I do!"  

Taking note of all the potential success this Brockport team has, they are ready for a brand new baseball journey. Preparation is key when playing in one of the toughest conferences in the country.

Even in the offseason, the Golden Eagles have been working its tail off preparing for the 2017 season.  

"Over winter break our team had a great strength and conditioning program that helped us put on muscle and increase our speed," Ludden said. "The past few weeks at practice we have worked hard on our defense, getting our plays down and just trying to get as many reps in as we can. Overall, we've been lucky to get on the turf and have the SERC to simulate game action."

This can prove to be an influential  component as the team faces another long season.

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) recently released a preseason poll predicting that our Golden Eagles will finish third in the conference.  Even before the season started they were recognized as one of the top teams. Head Coach Justin Beach will make sure to help this team reach that goal, or even surpass it.  

"I expect a championship, the whole team does," Spindler said.

Naturally, as residents, students, and fans of Brockport, we expect nothing less.

 

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