Freshman Catcher Ryan Sullivan carries big bat
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
You have to admire Bartlett Indians rookie coach Jonathan Way for his optimism. His team had just finished its season with a loss, giving them 14 losses to go along with only four wins, and everything he had to say was positive
Following a 3-2 start, the Indians faltered and lost twelve of their next thirteen games. They went through one span of eleven straight losses. Six of their losses were by fewer than three runs, which tells you that they were competitive.
“We went through a rough patch in the middle of the season, but we figured it out in the last five or six games or so; it’s unfortunate that it took us that long to figure it out, but we started hitting,” said Way. “Overall we played defensively well most times, but we didn’t have the hitting when it’s been there, but down the stretch it showed up.”
Ace Evan Anderson
One game that Way pointed out which left him feeling optimistic was a 4-2 loss to Shepherd Hill in their third to last game. ”Evan Anderson, who has been our ace all season long, went out and threw four strong innings and kept us in the game. At that point we were up 1-0 to one of the best teams in SWCL this year, in my opinion, from what I have seen. They have been consistent year in and year out, we went and we battled, we swung it, I believe we out hit them five hits to their three. Unfortunately we came out on the losing end.”
You have to agree with Way’s evaluation for the team’s outlook. Along with sophomore hurler Anderson, their best pitcher all season, they have a couple of solid juniors in second baseman Billy Phillips and outfielder Kelly Chisholm, who Way calls “the rock” of the Indians’ outfield, to go along with a bunch of talented sophomores.
Junior Billy Phillips
“We have a lot of young talent that really stepped it up. Anthony Higbie, our sophomore third basemen, who has been sound defensively came on late as an offensive presence with RBI’s and timely hitting.”
“Ryan Sullivan, our freshman catcher, who was called up early in the season and was the team’s designated hitter at the end of the season, ended the season batting over .300 behind Luis Caro as the second best hitter on the team.”
Way also talked about another sophomore, Justin Caro, a bona fide baseball player who can hit and field and looks to be a star in the making.
Chris Czernicki beats Southbridge
Another player who could be a big part of the Indians’ future is freshman pitcher Chris Czernicki, who won his first and only varsity start against rival Southbridge. “He threw strikes, he threw four plus innings, kept up in the game. It was fun to watch a kid like that come up and throw his first pitch and it’s a deep fly ball to centerfield and he kind of turned with an expression on his face and realizes that Nick Kobel is camped underneath it and that we can play defense at this level. He settled down and pitched a really nice ball game, he had six strikeouts, and he is going to be one of our future pitchers.”
“We look pretty strong for the future. I know that we have six seniors graduating but when you look at who really stepped up and carried our team it was our sophomore class, so I am looking for big things from them.”
It’s hard not to like this kind of optimism.
- Tuesday, 29 May 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports