Thursday April 11, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Brandon Jewett is one of only four seniors for a Frontier team looking to plug some holes with the help of a talented junior class. (Photo by Michael J. Petro)
The losses to graduation are substantial, but Frontier has a few experienced players remaining to help a solid junior class reach its potential.
After losing 10 seniors from last season’s 8-6 team in ECIC I which fell to eventual sectional champion Lancaster in the playoffs, the starting nine may look quite different but Falcons’ head coach Mike Morlock doesn’t feel like there will be a big drop-off.
With a group of newcomers that Morlock is pretty happy about, one through nine in the lineup, Frontier may actually be a more dangerous team than it was last season.
“We won’t be the same one through four in the lineup but we should be better all the way down the lineup,” said Morlock, before leaving for Myrtle Beach for the Mingo Bay Tournament over spring break.
Of the few experienced varsity players on the team, Brandon Jewett will lead a starting staff of three pitchers and play third base and Evan Johnston returns back to his starting role as a centerfielder.
Johnston, who will play at NCCC, will lead-off and serve as a captain. Morlock said he’s expecting a big year from his second-year starter. The Medaille Bound-bound Jewett will step on the mound as the only hurler to throw varsity innings last year. The staff that lost last year’s top starters Steve Dziak and Blair Lakso (ECC).
Jewett will be coupled with juniors Jim Gleason, a left-hander, and Christian Young, who’s a righty. Gleason will also play in the outfield when he doesn’t pitch.
“I have no idea how they line up because they are so comparable but I’m hoping our senior will lead us,” Morlock said. “They should be our starters in 90 percent of our games, but we’ll see how they wind up lining up.”
The team’s other seniors are Chris Koteras and Kevin Marcinkowski, who will compete for starting spots at second base and in left field, respectively.
Newcomers expected to play big roles include junior Joe Yetman, who will start at third and pitch in relief, Tom Stoklosa, a shortstop who will hit third in the order, and transfer Anthony Feeny, who will hit clean-up and play first or DH.
Also, junior Mike O’Rourke should split time at second base as a righty in a rotation with the lefty Koteras and classmate Jim Smith may also be in a platoon at first.
Alex Colunio will start at catcher, taking over for Jacob Weiser, who’s now playing at ECC, with Ryan Niedermeir backing him up. Transfer Matt Soos and Zac Balzer will contribute in the outfield.
ECIC I will again present its challenges with Williamsville North and Clarence featuring Division I players and defending Class AA champion Lancaster returning most of its talent from last season.
However, Morlock believes his less-experienced team can still contend. “Top to bottom, the division is even stronger,” he said. “There should be some good matchups. I can’t see any team being miles ahead of the others.”