Gaithersburg Baseball Has Sights Set on Consecutive State Championships
"It was obviously a good year for us. We actually had a bunch of injuries during the year that we were able to overcome. Kids stepped up and it was a true definition of a team," head coach Jeff Rabberman said. "The moment we clinched it was a feeling our team and coaches will never forget."
Now with a new season just around the corner, Gaithersburg has no plans to slow down.The Trojans return eight starters from last year's team, highlighting that this year's team has just as good a chance to win the state championship this year as any team in Maryland.
One way in which the Trojans will be really set is on the mound. The team returns three of its top four pitchers from last season in terms of innings pitched, meaning the Trojans will be able to start an experienced pitcher in close to every game they play. It's one big reason why Rabberman says the team's strengths are "Experience, pitching and defense."
One member of that trio is Nick Pantos, who also plays second base. Pantos batted .429 with 20 RBI's last season, 13 doubles and three home runs. On the mound, Pantos started six games and finished the season with a .72 ERA.
The Trojans also return their workhorse on the mound, Anthony Felitti. Felitti, who got the win in the state championship against Severna Park, threw 49.2 innings for Gaithersburg last season, striking out 70 batters and allowing just six earned runs which resulted in a .85 ERA.
Brad Sawyer is the third main pitcher returning, finishing last season with a 1.78 ERA in 19.2 innings of work. When he isn't pitching, Sawyer plays first base. Last season, he hit .419 and finished with an on base percentage of .500.
Among the non-pitching contingent of returners is outfielder and first baseman Zack DeCarlo, who batted .344 with an on base percentage of .494.
Led by its returners, the group has been working hard to improve on how they did last season. Rabberman is excited at how the team attacked its offseason regimen of running and lifting, but the group has been a little inconsistent in its four scrimmages thus far.
"Not sure if it is a hangover from last season, but I hope it has gotten our kids' attention," Rabberman said. "We aren't just going to show up and win. We will get everyone's best every time out."
It's a reality that has Rabberman wanting his players to have serious focus on each game they play. It's why Rabberman hasn't circled any team on Gaithersburg's schedule- he wants his team to take the season on a game by game basis.
"We only worry about winning the next inning of the game," Rabberman said. "Every game we play has us excited to play."
|March 17th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|