2018 Baseball Preview - Year of Rebuilding the Corners
With the new rules in place involving pitch count and rest days for pitchers, year in and year out the main focus for teams in the high school level of play should be pitching. In fact, many teams focus on pitching to the point where most of the players they are fielding are able to pitch instantly. You could probably same the same for the Wolverines this year, but we here at the W-Zone say otherwise.
The Wolverines graduated 8 players from last year's playoff team, including 6 players who played most if not each game. With this in mind, 2 of those players were used in the pitching department and 1 filling the other spot in the battery (catcher). Even though the Wolverines lost key players up the middle, the focus will be in fact on filling the corner positions.
Jordan Recce (3B), Shane Sedgwick (1B / P), and Ryan Bartolomeo (1B / DH) are big shoes to fill on the corners of the diamond. Also, losing Tyler Good (P / LF) and Max Keally (CF) will also be big shoes to fill; however, the main focus in the outfield is range and smart decisions. The focus at third base and first base will be very important, even though the game is "smaller" between the bases.
The Wolverines will return players such as Rick Pitrelli, Noah Rinker, and Anthony Roth, whom all played the full 25 games last year. Noah Rinker (5-3, 2.02 last year) will be the main focus at the mound, with such other players as Sean Busby, Anthony Roth, and others that will be sure to get playing time. Rick Pitrelli (.261), Anthony Roth (.280), Brady Welsh, Noah Rinker (.262), and Rocco Sesti, and potential others like Devon Hudspath (.217) and Jake Matheny (.500) will also be the focus in the diamond area, with some considerations of rotating players to the outfield as well as behind home plate.
The Wolverines also know that they have decent speed as well - sometimes playing small ball at Saunders Field works well and speed may help that during the long stretch of the season. Players like Roth (13 SB), Pitrelli (7), Welsh (4), and Chambers (2) will be helpful to the base running aspect of the game.
Overall, the chances of the Wolverines of making another playoff run seem good to great; however, as we all know, the main focus as always is to take down city rival Riverside Panthers, who not only are in the section, but are also looking to win another section championship as well (2017 winners).
Let the madness...I mean...Spring time begin! LET'S PLAY BALL!