Sewickley Academy baseball team looks to build on experience

Sunday, March 15, 2020 | 6:01 AM

Sewickley Academy’s baseball team continues to grow.

After several underclassmen were thrust into key roles last year, the Panthers struggled to a 4-9 finish. However, they’re eager to build on that experience this season.

“Things have been going great. The turnout has been very good so far. I think we have a big group of baseball players this year. The consistency is there. They are showing up ready to play. The competitive spirit is higher. It seems like they are eager,” Sewickley Academy assistant Anthony Garofalo said. “We had a bunch of freshmen get a bunch of experience in games last year. We’re looking for those underclassmen to act like seniors and juniors just because they got so much experience at the varsity level. With this group of freshmen, we’re looking forward to them contributing right away just like the freshman class last year. We feel we have a good mix.”

Catcher Dimitri Gary is the team’s lone senior. He’s embraced the leadership role.

“He will be our main leader. He is a baseball player at heart. He is eager to get the season going,” Garofalo said. “Not only is he a senior and he leads just because of seniority, but he wants to win and leave his footprint at Sewickley with a good season and wants to make a run in the playoffs. He’s set the tone for us.”

Junior Hudson Bordeau returns at first base.

“We’re looking for him to be a leader this year and being a voice on our team,” Garofalo said. “We only have one senior, and he has to act like a leader for us, as well.”

The Panthers have a handful of players who could see time at second base or shortstop.

Sophomores James Long and Sal Laure and freshmen James DelVecchio and Adin Zorn could find themselves in the middle infield spots. Sophomore Sajen Schuchert and junior Nick Wilson could see time at third base along with freshman Nick Straka, who could catch along with Laure.

Many options exist for the outfield, too. Juniors Tommy Sykes and Cameron Crouch, sophomore Luke Miller and freshman Nicolas Sosso, along with Wilson, Zorn and Laure could find themselves in any of the three outfield positions.

“All these guys are interchangeable, which is a good thing for the coaches,” Garofalo said. “If someone is sick or hurt, we can slide someone else right into the spot and not skip a beat. I think being able to move a bunch of guys around to different positions is a strength.”

On the mound, Gary, DelVecchio, Sykes, Bordeau, Wilson and Schuchert could see the most work.

“We have a bunch of guys who have good arms. The key this year is just to throw strikes. That’s what we’re harping on,” Garofalo said. “I think we’ll be good defensively, so we want to keep the ball down and let the batters put it in play and have our defenders make the easy outs.”

Chemistry has been good with the team.

“I think this team has a good synergy. The camaraderie around the team, from the seniors to the freshmen, has been very good. They all get along very well,” Garofalo said. “Baseball is such a game of failure. You’ll fail more than succeed and still have good stats. These guys want to have a good season and pick one another up always.”

The Panthers hope that translates into more wins, especially in Section 4-2A. They finished 4-8 in the section last spring.

“We’re looking for a much better year than what we had last year. That comes from the experience we had and new freshmen we have. I think we can have a pretty good year this year,” Garofalo said. “We have a young team again, but the experience isn’t young. We have so many guys that have so much game experience from last year. We hope we can build on that.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.


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