Baseball: Roughs return a solid group
Catasauqua’s baseball team will enter the 2017 season with some seasoned returnees in the fold as well as questions to answer and spots to fill.
The Roughies will be looking to avoid the predicament they faced at the end of last season. Due to a series of rainy weather that ravaged the area late in the season, Catty was faced with the predicament of playing five games in four days and winning four of their final six to gain a district spot.
Unfortunately, the Roughies fell short and finished with an overall 7-13 mark, with a club that likely was one of the youngest and inexperienced in the Colonial League.
Now with a solid group back with experience, Catty will seek to make a run at returning to the district playoffs.
“We do have a lot of players back,” said head coach Steve Bradley. “We’re looking to see where they can play, but we will have seven starters back. We were a really young club last year, and the kids gained experience.
“This season, we are optimistic they can take advantage of more opportunities.”
Seniors Rodney Berger and Colin Hawk are back and will anchor the pitching staff. Both of them have developed over the past two years into consistent starters for the Roughies.
Senior Dylan Nonemacher will also log some innings as well as juniors Zach Bilder, Shaun McCartney and Andrew Brett to give the Roughies depth.
“We have Berger and Hawk back on the mound and they have both pitched in big situations for us,” added Bradley. “They both really came into their own last season and they will be an effective front part of our staff.
“We feel like we have two number one pitchers out there. When one isn’t pitching, he likely will be in the infield for us. Both of them have really been working since our first day of practice.”
Junior Corey Raysley is back as a controlling presence in the infield. He will be joined by Brett, who can play second and third, and fellow junior utility man Shane Dolan
“Raysley has really worked hard this spring and he looks good,” said Bradley. “He has been working out and in the weight room since football ended. He should have a real good year for us.”
In the outfield, juniors Cam Ritter and Joey Kober are back. Juniors Zach Bilder, who wa among the top hitters last season, and Luke Creyer will be behind the plate as well as other positions in the field.
The Roughies will open the season against Northampton March 24.
“We were able to get a good start on things with the way the weather broke,” said Bradley. “Everyone has been working and we have a good chemistry here. We’re anxious to get started.”