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GENERALS' INFIELDER ANTHONY Rodriguez steps on second base as he prepares to throw the ball to first base in order to turn a double play.

Who makes the grade?

Contributed Story
LOCH SHELDRAKE — March 25, 2008 — After posting a 3-4 record prior to this afternoon’s scheduled Mid-Hudson Conference baseball opener at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Coach Mike Marra graded the Generals’ nine on their performance so far this 2008 season.
Starting Pitching: B+
The five-man starting rotation has an ERA of 3.65, allowing 13 earned runs in 32 innings pitched. The starters have struck out 29 batters and walked only 15 while giving up 29 hits.
“Our starting pitching has been solid over the first seven outings and pitched well against the stiff competition in [at the Ripken Experience] Myrtle Beach [S.C],” praised Marra. “We have to do a better job of locating pitches early in the game and see what pitches they can handle.”
Freshman Wellington Vargas (Brooklyn/John Adams High School) and freshman Jess Kelly (Elmira/Elmira Free Academy) each have a team-best 3.00 ERA.
Sophomore Mike Prunka (Glen Spey/Eldred) leads the team in strikeouts (eight) and innings pitched (nine).
Middle Relief Pitching: F
The four middle relief pitchers have thrown a combined 13 innings. They have given up 38 earned runs on 26 hits and surrendered six home runs.
“The middle innings is the biggest question mark we have as a staff,” Marra said. “Two games in Myrtle Beach stand out where we were up by a run and another game when we were down by a run and then the middle guys came in and put gas on the fire.
“The middle guys need to step up their game if we are going to compete for the Mid-Hudson Conference title.”
Closer: A
John DeGroodt (Walden/Valley Central HS) is 2-for-2 in save opportunities. He has not allowed a hit in two innings of work while recording three strikeouts.
“If we can get a lead and keep it through seven innings, I think we have as close to an automatic out of the bullpen as there is in John [DeGroodt],” Marra commented.
Hitting: C
The Generals are hitting .222 as a team through the first seven games (43-for-194) and have scored 32 runs and drawn 28 walks.
“We’re putting the ball in play, but not getting the big hit with guys on base,” Marra lamented. “We get a rally going with two runners on and nobody out and we can’t score.
“Early in the season the pitchers have an advantage over the hitters because of limited repetitions of live pitching inside, but we’ve had almost 250 plate appearances and we need to start squaring up the ball and finding some holes.”
Sophomore Ali Ferreiras (Bronx/Alfred Smith HS) and sophomore Albert Bevacqua (Staten Island/New Dorp HS) lead the team in home runs with one each.
Freshman John DeGroodt (Walden/Valley Central HS) is the Generals’ leader in hits (eight), batting average (.381) and RBIs (four).
Defense: A
The Generals have posted a .936 fielding percentage for the first seven games.
“We’ve made 103 of the 110 chances so far this season,” Marra said.
In four games, the Generals did not commit an error, in two games, they made one error and in one game they committed five miscues.
“Your pitching and defense have to be steady all year long to have a shot to win in the postseason,” Marra commented.
Overall Grade: C+
“If we tighten up our game in the middle innings and start hitting the ball like we are capable of, I think we’ll be right in the hunt for the [Mid-Hudson] Conference championship,” Marra said.

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