STVM baseball team looking to improve through experience
DOWNTOWN AKRON — St. Vincent-St. Mary (STVM) High School’s baseball head coach Anthony Boarman cited experience and depth at each position as the team’s primary strengths this season.
“I really like the attitude, approach and confidence that I have seen in the preseason,” he said. “Some of the lumps we had to take last year will only make us a stronger group this year.”
STVM finished 10-14 overall last season and lost to Buckeye High School in the sectional finals.
“Last year, our daily lineup was full of sophomores and first-year varsity starters,” the coach said. “We have a good amount of experience returning this season after losing only one full-time starter and two starting pitchers from the 2013 team. We learned a lot from both success and failure in 2013, and I believe we’ll be a much more experienced team, a smarter team and, ultimately, a team with a lot more confidence.”
According to Boarman, the team is returning eight of nine starters in the field and “a good amount of experience on the mound.” The coach said this year’s team features “a large group of seniors with quality varsity experience” led by the following (with comments on each by Boarman):
- Zac George (catcher): “Zac is entering his third year behind the plate for us. He has been a key leader on the team as our catcher and in the lineup.”
- Kevin Krukemeyer and Dieter Haas (pitchers): “They gained some valuable experience last year as relievers in our bullpen and will look to take larger roles this year.”
- Vinny Carson (outfield): “Vinny is also a key returning starter in our outfield and will bring a consistency in the field and at the plate as well.”
- Calvin Miller (infielder): “Calvin is a senior newcomer to the baseball program that we are looking for big things from. He can play anywhere in the field and brings a strong bat to the lineup.”
In addition, Boarman said, seniors Jeff Dehnke (outfielder/pitcher), Sam Foster (pitcher) and Mike Sporich (outfielder) will be first-year varsity starters.
“Although it is too early to tell how large their role will be, they will all contribute in some way,” he said. “They are one of the hardest-working and most focused group of seniors I’ve ever had, so I appreciate what they bring to the program.”
Other key returning players, Boarman said, include juniors Ian Dillard (shortstop/second base), Kevin Oyakawa (middle infield), Ryan Donahue (catcher/first base), Anthony Cerreto (third base/outfield/pitcher), Jason Large (outfield) and Joe Faetanini (first base); and sophomore Mitch Whalen (pitcher).
“I’m very confident in our hitting lineup this year,” Boarman said. “We actually have a good amount of guys that are still competing for a daily role in the lineup, so it has been a good problem for us to have. Anyone who isn’t an everyday starter will play a role as a DH [designated hitter] or as an important pinch hitter at some point in the game. Our biggest struggle in 2013 was our inability to produce runs on a consistent basis. I am confident that we are a smarter and a stronger team this season and will have the ability to come through in big situations due to the amount of experience we have.”
In order to be successful this year, Boarman said, STVM’s pitching staff will “have to pitch by committee.”
“We had an unfortunate season-ending injury to our lone four-year starting pitcher, Corey Whaley. We will miss his presence and experience on the field, but he will still continue to offer his leadership and knowledge to the team off the field,” the coach said. “We have a good amount of depth, but much of it is unproven on the varsity level. We are looking forward to see who takes the opportunity to step up as a result of Corey’s absence. Our pitchers have been working hard all year long to prepare for this season, so I know they will be successful.”
On the whole, Boarman said, this year’s team has the ability to “turn some heads.”
“We have flirted with having a great season the past few years, but have fallen short in the district tournament,” he said. “We will take one game at a time and let everything else take care of itself. We feel the most prepared going into a season then we ever have, so we’re looking forward to the challenge of our schedule. I believe we play one of the toughest schedules in the area in order to be battle tested by the time the tournament rolls around.”
This is Boarman’s sixth year as head coach at STVM. His varsity assistant coaches are: Ben Willis, Justin Corbett and Dan Costill. The junior varsity coaches are Pat Bulford and Don Coughlin, and the freshman coaches are Andrew Destefano and Eric Cameron.
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