Pitching key for baseball
The Parkland baseball team will be able to put some runs on the board this upcoming season, but the key for the Trojans to win comes down to preventing runs.
The defending Lehigh Valley Conference North Division champs lost three pitchers to graduation, including LVC All-star and pitcher of the year Matt Hurd (6-1, 1.97 ERA), who is now pitching for the Bloomsburg Huskies. Adam Fye (5-2, 2.10 ERA) and Brian Zesch (1-0, 1.12 ERA) also departed after successful 2012 campaigns.
"The key to success will be the development of a young and inexperienced pitching staff," said head coach Tony Galucy. "The staff consists of two seniors, two juniors, and four sophomores. If the pitching staff improves as the season progresses, we could compete in the league and district playoffs."
Some of the pitchers Galucy will be counting on to provide some innings are Tyler Graeff, Tyler Duff, Chris Rabasco, Alex Flynn, Gabe Mosser, Justin Afflerbach, Connor Higgins and Rhett Jacoby. Graeff, Duff and Rabasco bring back the most experience on the mound out of the group.
The offense takes a hit with the loss of Rabasco's brother and LVC All-Star second baseman Nick Rabasco (.500 BA, 27 runs, 14 RBI) to graduation, along with third baseman Jacob Rosenblatt (.321, 13 runs, 13 RBI).
But Galucy believes that his returning letter-winners will be bringing a lot of pop to home plate this season.
The key returnees will be led by Bloomsburg bound catcher Damin Muth (.406, 20 RBI), who was voted an honorable mention for the All-LVC team a season ago. The Misericorida commit Graeff (.328, 16 RBI) and sophomore Chris Rabasco (.391, 15 runs, 15 RBI) will also be threats at the plate, along with seniors Brandon Evans, Jordan Jones, Adam Schneck, Aidan Flynn, and junior Zach Merkle.
Parkland will look to build off last year's 15-7 overall record, and 11-3 mark in the conference. The Trojans will be motivated knowing that last year ended short of some of their expected goals each year. They were knocked off by eventual LVC champ Nazareth in the semifinals of the league tournament, and then were eliminated in the first round of districts by Pocono Mountain West just about a week later.
Galucy knows he has a talented team this year, but feels that they will have their work cut out for them. Liberty, Whitehall and Emmaus will be the primary competition for Parkland in the league this year.