By Kylie Garrett
Last year was one for the books for the baseball team. They were east coast conference champions, tied the season win record, made it further than any team in school history, and had one member drafted to the LA Dodgers. Will they be able to keep up with their own success this upcoming season?
Head baseball coach Mike Gaffney credits the accomplishments last year to a good senior class. The nine seniors went through a lot of adversity, but improved year-to- year. Senior leadership is something that Coach Gaffney thinks really pushed the Pioneers to the top.
Now that the team has earned respect, they have to stay motivated to go even further this year. The Pioneers are now in fall ball, with a 3-0 record. To keep the same success as last year, Gaffney is trying to see who is going to step up as a leader to play the roles that seniors played last year. He wants his players to realize that they are very talented, but they are not where they need to be yet. “They need to realize that we need to continue to work just has hard as if we didn’t have a winning record and this I think will help with a lot of our success on the eld this season,” Gaffney said.
With 40 members on the team this year, and only four seniors, Gaffney said that some of the younger guys will need to step up and be leaders if they want to be as successful as last season.
Senior Rob Andreoli was the east coast conference player of the year and the eastern collage athletic conference Division II player of the year last season. Andreoli thought that his team could have made it even further in the regional tournament. He feels that this upcoming season will be better. “We were a couple wins away last year from winning it, but like I said before, now that we have a little taste of it, we are really working hard to get back to where we were,” Andreoli said. He also believes they have a bunch of guys who are ready to step up and fill in the roles of those players and be just as efficient.
Gaffney and Andreoli are excited for this season and ready to go even further. Their goals for this year are to return to regionals and win their conference tournament. “But our main goal that any coach will tell you is to get better than the year before. Now that we set our standard so high it’s going to be a little tougher but I think we are embracing that challenge,” Gaffney said.