Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 1, 2013 Issue
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With the 2012 high school baseball season already underway, some teams have been quick out of the box while others are struggling to find the zone. It's still early, so everyone has time to keep their season from sliding away.

Local baseball teams hope it's their turn

By Rob Potter
Not available

2011 record: 0-16 overall, 0-12 in OCIAA Division V
Coach: Jeff O’Neill
Players to watch: Jimmy Bertholf (senior, C), Corey McKeon (senior, P/SS), Josh Carter (junior, P/SS) and Ryan McKeon (junior, P/3B).
Notable games: “We started out 3-0 by sweeping Eldred in a Division V series,” O’Neill said. “Seward and Tri-Valley will be tough series for us this season.”
Goals/outlook: “Obviously, we want to win as many games as we can,” O’Neill said. “We would like to make sectionals. If we do, it would be the first time in six or seven years a Fallsburg baseball team has done that.
“We want to see improvement,” O’Neill commented. “Game by game we want to get better.”
“Our young guys will have to step up and our upperclassmen need to lead them,” O’Neill added.

2011 record: 2-14
Key losses: Will McGuire (P)
Coach: John Wilhelm
Players to watch: Joe Franke (senior, P/SS), Ryan Henry (junior, 1B), Anthony Covington (senior, DH), Jesse Hufnagel (senior, C/P), Tino Casiano (senior, OF/P), Anthony Mercado (senior, 3B)
Notable games: “All of our division games against Burke, O’Neill and Sullivan West,” Coach Wilhelm said.
Goals/outlook: “Our goal this season is to get better everyday and grow as a team,” Wilhelm said.

Livingston Manor
2011 record: 15-8, won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D Championship
Coach: Jeff Loeffler
Key losses: Brandon Smith (1B, P), Adam Hendrix (2B)
Players to watch: Mikey Mills (P, 1B, 2B), Kenny Fisk (SS), Chad Rosario (CF, P), Trever Taggart (2B, P), Joey Fredenburg (1B, LF)
Notable games: “Our Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI series versus Chapel Field,” Loeffler said.
Goals/outlook: “To win another state championship,” Loeffler said.
“If we hard work every day in practice, it should equate to a repeat performance,” Loeffler commented. “We will take nothing for granted and work hard every day – in practice and on game days.”

2011 record: 8-10
Coach: Mike Marra
Key losses: Bobby Wagner and Patrick Ripa, who are now playing college baseball at Westfield State and Clarkson respectively.
Players to watch: Connor Briggs, Sean Reuss, Anthony Gray, Devon Chester, Benjamin Kapito, Jacob McLachlan and Khalil Guadalupe
Notable games: “The fifth annual John Spear Tournament versus Liberty on May 18,” Coach Marra said. “Other key games are Sullivan West on May 1, Delaware Valley (Pa.) on April 19 and Wallkill at Dutchess Stadium on May 21.”
Goals/outlook: “Qualify for the Section IX Tournament,” Marra said. “We are very young with six sophomores, four juniors and four seniors. Our sophomores will have to step up and accept major roles on this year’s team if we are going to compete for a playoff spot.”

Sullivan West
2011 record: 11-8
Coach: Jim O’Connor
Key losses: Ryan Alsdorf, Lucas Bauer, Cruz Burgos, Jeremy DeGori, Michael Durkin, James O’Connor, Mike Pierce and Justin Zaccari.
Players to watch: “We are counting on all of the players on our team and having senior leadership,” Coach O’Connor said of his team, which consists of five seniors, three juniors and four sophomores. “We need everybody to contribute.”
Notable games: “We start right out of the gate with Burke,” said O’Connor. of their opening three-game OCIAA Division IV series. “Then we have a lot of non-league games before ending the season with division series against [James I.] O’Neill and Liberty. We don’t have any softies on our schedule. Some of our non-league opponents are Monticello, Port Jervis, Chapel Field and Chester.
Goals/outlook: “Obviously our long term goal is to make the sectionals,” O’Connor commented. “Baseball is a game where win, lose or draw, you have to go out and play again tomorrow. We want to get better one day at time, one practice at a time and one game at a time. I am surrounded by great players and great coaches. I don’t know if that will translate directly to wins, but it will point us in the right direction to earn some wins.
“We are looking to keep improving throughout the season,” O’Connor said. “The chemistry on this team is the best of any team I have ever been around. We have a great group of kids.”

2011 record: 9-9 overall, 8-4 in OCIAA Division V. The Bears lost to S.S. Seward in the Section IX Class C title game.
Coach: John Rusin
Key losses: Peter DiMilia and Tyler TerBush
Players to watch: Joe Mickelson (P/3B), George Baggatta (P/INF), Tyler Lopez (P/2B), Steve McInerney (C), Greg Swarthout (CF), Fred Dumond (1B), Rodney Jester (SS), Aric Boyes (OF), Christian Reynolds (INF), Cody Exner (OF) and Dave Donovan (OF/P).
Newcomers include: Andrew Exner (INF), Mike Foster (1B/3B/DH), John Anzano (C/INF) and Shawn Markle (LHP).
Notable games: “We had a great start to the season by beating Tuxedo twice in our three-game Division V series with them,” Coach Rusin said. “We have a tough schedule as 15 of our 20 games are against division opponents and our first 12 games are division games. We have series versus Eldred and Fallsburg coming up soon and play a division series against Chester at the end of the season.”
Goals/outlook: “Last year, we reached the Section IX Class C championship game but lost,” Rusin continued. “This season, we want to get back to the title game and win it.”
“Obviously we want to get better each week,” Rusin said. “We want to show improvement with every three-game division series we play. Hopefully the upperclassmen will be good examples for the younger players on how to compete on the varsity level.

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