Senior-laden Patriots hungry as season begins

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BENNINGTON >> After a quicker-than-expected exit from last year's postseason, the Mount Anthony baseball team feels they have the plan in place to make a deeper run as a new season begins.

"We know what happened in our first playoff game and we have to fix that and move forward," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "We want to get better and make it to the finals, with as many seniors as we have."

MAU has nine seniors and most will be starters, including half of the pitching rotation.

"I hope all the seniors can be leaders this year, most have been with me for two or three years," Parmenter said. "It's a good group of seniors, they've all been there. I hope everybody stays healthy and [the pitchers] stay in good shape."

The pitching staff includes seniors Brody Farnum, Austin Condo and Noah Normyle, while junior Ryan O'Neill and freshman Will Shea, along with Brian Grace will all see time on the mound.

"It's a really veteran group coming back, a deep rotation, we should be six deep if we can stay healthy," Parmenter said. "We're really focusing on getting them to throw strikes, that's the biggest key to staying out there longer."

In the infield, senior Cody Vosburg, along with Grace and junior Nilu Chirchirillo will have their spots, and the pitchers will usually play in the infield on days they don't pitch. Atreal Pineiro and JV callup James Marsden will battle for time behind the plate.

Parmenter said they have two or three players capable of filling in at each spot.

"I'm not sure who will be the starters yet, there's some up in the air and guys are still working hard for those spots," Parmenter said. "Brian and Nilu are in a position battle in [the middle infield], both are very good defensively."

In the outfield, Pat Powers will be in center, but the rest of the positions are between seniors Roger LaJoie, Carter Bentley and Bryce Bush along with juniors Ryan Mayhew and Liam Center. Shea will play in the outfield as well, while Bentley returns to the sport after a year away.

"Will can catch, pitch and play outfield, so he's very versatile," Parmenter said. "He just needs to get his feet wet a little bit."

"Depending on how the lineup [is set], we're likely to have three seniors in the outfield and shortshop and second base will be key," Powers added.

In terms of a lineup, the Patriots might be able to start games with seven seniors, a potentially terrifying prospect for young hurlers against them.

"There's no breaks at all [in our lineup], it's going to be great," Powers said. "I think we'll peak throughout, our pitching and defense can get us through if we get into a slump. I think we're going to do well this year."

Powers said being able to get outside recently was helpful, but the cold and snow of the past couple days have messed up the rhythm a little bit.

"We want to get the season rolling, we need to get the pitchers ready and now we have to wait out [the bad weather]," Powers said.

The Patriots are scheduled to start the season on Thursday against Hoosick Falls, but with rain in the forecast, it remains to be seen if that'll happen.


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