Westmoreland will lean on experience this spring
WESTMORELAND — Returning eight players, the Westmoreland baseball team will be leaning on experience to guide the Bulldogs during the 2018 season.
“We’re leaning on our significant game experience and our pitching staff this season,” Westmoreland head coach Paul Engelhart said. “We return four of our top five pitchers from last spring.”
Weather-permitting, the Bulldogs, who finished 10-8 overall last season and 7-4 in the Center State Conference Division III, open up their season April 6 at home against Remsen. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Returning for the Bulldogs are senior pitcher/third baseman Justin Matteson, senior pitcher/ shortstop Mike Sweeney, senior outfielder, infielder, pitcher and captain Connor Mirasola and senior catcher, first baseman and pitcher Cameren Rothdiener.
Juniors that return for Westmoreland include pitcher/first baseman Dylan Breen, junior pitcher/third baseman/catcher Andrew Scalise, junior pitcher/infielder Zach St. Peter and junior outfielder Brendan Klotz.
Last season, Matteson, a four-year varsity pitcher, posted a 5-3 record for the Bulldogs and threw 47 innings. Sweeney held a .383 batting average while Mirasola had a .333 average. Rothdiener carried a .302 average.
“We’re hoping to get some quality starts from out experienced pitching staff during the first few weeks of the season,” Engelhart stated.
Engelhart’s squad lost its two top hitters due to graduation in the form of Center State Conference Division III first-team all-stars Josh Drake and Noah Bowen.
Drake carried a .478 batting average and had 19 RBIs last season for Westmoreland while Bowen had a .469 average and drove in 27 runs.
“Offense is our top priority coming into the 2018 season,” Engelhart said. “Losing our two top hitters will be a big adjustment.”
Newcomers to the Bulldogs’ roster this season include senior outfielder and first baseman Nik Hameister, junior outfielder and second baseman Mike Alloggio, junior outfielders Josh Davis and Ty Rodriguez and eighth-grader catcher/second baseman Caleb Miller.
“All of our players have been working hard during preseason workouts indoors and are prepared to hit the ground running once the snow finally allows us to get onto the playing field,” Engelhart commented.