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Monday, April 25, 2011

Gave Myself a Quiz

First let me say "Thank You" to all who sent emails regarding Michaels injury. he's doing better and slowing working himself back into baseball.

While traveling this weekend, I was asking myself "How many D1 college coaches are from the Section 1 area"? I started running names of my contacts through my mind and was very surprised to see that there are quite a few.

Dan McDonald, Head Coach at the University of Louisville is from PortChester
Sean McNally, Head Coach at Duke University is from Rye
Kevin Leighton, Head Coach at Manhattan College is from Brewster
Mike Gambino, Head Coach at Boston College is from Garrison
Mike Cole, Head Coach at NJIT is from Arlington
Pat Carey, Head Coach at Iona College is from Rockland
Jerry DiFabia, Assistant Coach at Fordham University is from Pelham
Joe Mercurio, Assistant Coach at High Point University is from Brewster
Bob DiToma, Assistant Coach at Iona is from Yorktown
Myckie Lugbauer, Student Assistant at Maine is from Mahopac

This is a pretty good group of guys working at some solid schools. If you can think of any additional ones, drop me an email and I'll add them to the list.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Recent Observations

Well first off I apologize for being absent this past week. Mike Mercurio was hit in the face with a bad hop ground ball on Sunday afternoon and broke his jaw in two places. As you can imagine, there was a lot to do travel wise and patient care wise over the past week. 1 lesson learned > parents, trust your intuitions and don't let anyone change your mind.

Having seen my share of college games this year and another half dozen high school games, the change in bats has definitely had implications. At yesterdays Brewster vs Carmel game there were 3 home runs hit and all traveled over the 350 sign in right center. With the BBCOR bats that will be used next year, home runs will be few and far between unless of course you play your games at JJCR. The days of Alex Martinez and a few of the other sluggers who had hit 10 or more home runs as high school players will be long gone. I spent a good part of the morning looking at college websites and just the lack of extra base hits is interesting. I can only imagine how the bats along with the lack of pitchers velocity and hitters physical strength will impact the high school game.

Our summer program and most of the others in the area, play the season in wood bat leagues and tournaments. The results will be comparable. A player with a sweet swing like Scott Hagan will still have success just as Colin Moran has had at the college level. Just do some research and take a look at the guys from Section 1 who were the big home run guys the last 3 or 4 years and see what they are doing now. What you'll see is some of the guys still have pretty good averages (they were and are still good hitters) but the number of extra base hits and home runs are either non-existent or diminished. It will definitely be interesting.

With that being said, hopefully I can get back on track next week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Great to See ...

Just got back from another trip down to North Carolina and had the opportunity to check up on a few of the players from the area. I'll be doing the same next weekend and with High Point playing night games I have had the opportunity to drag my wife to a few other games. You can click on the players names to see their school profiles.

This past weekend Winthrop University came to visit High Point.  Tyler Donovan (Iona Prep 09') and   TJ Olesczuk  (Hen Hud 10') are on that roster. While Tyler is injured and not playing, he'll get a medical red-shirt this year, TJ is and boy is he playing well. The coaching staff at Winthrop has moved TJ out to RF where it's obvious that his shoulder is healed because he is showing some arm strength. He also showed a serious stick. We all knew he was a solid hitter for Hen Hud, but he is doing it as a college freshman in D1 baseball. Unofficially, I'm going to say he has at least 8 hits in the 3 game series including a 4-4 on Saturday. Great to See..

High Point also has a number of Section 1 players with Sr  Kyle Mahoney (Carmel 07') and  Mike Mercurio  (Kennedy 09') seeing the line-up everyday as starters. Mahoney was hitting .333 going into the weekend while Mike Mercurio was at .355 and an on base % of almost .500. Great to See...

On Saturday I ran over to watch Elon play UNC-Greensboro. Ken Ferrer (Pleasantville 07') was on the hill for Elon and pitched very, very well. He was victimized by a few outfield miscues that were caused by gusting winds. As many may know, Ken was selected in the MLB draft last June but chose to return to Elon to finish up his schooling and re-enter this years draft.Great to See ...

While watching these games, I continued to follow the Tweets coming out of Chapel Hill where  Colin Moran (Iona Prep 10') is still on fire and got the game winning base-hit and Rbi for UNC on Sunday. He leads the ACC in Rbi's. Great to see..

Running into a few of the Iona College players who I have known for a few years throws a mention out to Coach Carey and his Gaels. While the program has fallen on tough times the last few years. It looks like the once MAAC contender is getting back on track. A few of the locals,  Joe Smith  (Kennedy 10'),   Anthony Muccio (Stepinac 09'),  Eric Capowski (Stepinac 08') and  Anthony Castellitto  have all played major roles in the Iona resurgance. Great to See..

Today I stopped over at Iona Prep to watch practice and see if there was a game. What I got was a mixed bag. The JV was playing Malloy but the varsity was practicing as was the freshman team. It's no wonder Coach Gallo is in the mix every year. The fields were loaded with players. No shortage of talent this year for Gaels and there won't be for the next few years. Each teams roster was filled to the max with guys who I thought looked like good players. Coach Gallo's assistant coaches sure bring a lot to the table. Phil Salustio (Former Fordham U pitcher) and Ryan Mahoney (Carmel/ St John's catcher/1B) provide a wealth of baseball experience, from the Section 1 area to D1 baseball careers.Guys giving back. Great to See.....

I hope to see another local game over the next few days but on the weekend I will see Guilford Tech play JC powerhouse USC-Sumpter on Saturday. On Guildford's roster you can find 3 former Mahopac HS players. Joe Mercurio and Chris Erker (Mahopac 10') and Matt Petrone (Mahopac 09'). Matt his having another solid year hitting in the .400 range with enough stolen bases to lock him up for 10 years. Erker is the #2 starter GTCC and is posting an ERA of 2.76. He has a 2-1 record and 3 no decisions. Guilford plays in Region 10 NJCAA D1, one of the top JC conferences in the country. Great to See...

If you have information on some of the guys from the area that you would like to see here, drop me an email at