The Bombers, who ended a title drought last season, are looking to earn the top spot in Class CC and the Wayne County League. ER is led by shortstop Trey Pascazi, the defending Wayne County League Player of the Year.
Patrick Walsh racked up plenty of victories in his first 10 seasons as head coach of the East Rochester baseball team. Unfortunately, none of those victories resulted in a sectional title.
The Bombers always seemed to be a step behind programs such as Cal-Mum and Honeoye. That all changed last year.
ER put together an outstanding regular season and knocked off Wayne County League rival Lyons to win their first sectional title since 1995. Now the Bombers enter the season with a target on their back, not only by their Wayne County foes but the rest of the Class C schools in Section 5.
“Right now we have competition just to play,” Walsh said. “These kids are practicing hard. In the years past we could rotate everybody, but now we have a lot more guys to get in there. The competition is going to benefit all of us.”
The Bombers enter the season with high hopes for another title run, but they have plenty of holes to fill first. The biggest void was left by pitcher Steve Lewis, who was the MVP of the Class CC tournament.
ER will turn to familiar face to fill his role on the mound. Trey Pascazi, who earned MVP of the Wayne County League at shortstop last spring, entered the spring as the team’s top starter.
“We have a lot of confidence in him, every time he goes out onto the mound,” said Sam Hauser, who will play second and third base for the Bombers this spring.
Walsh hopes though by the middle of the season Pascazi won’t have to spend too many games playing out of his natural short stop position.
Juniors Chris Chilelli and Austin Peterson return this spring and should eat innings. Newcomers Nick Fathergill and Rich Hook Jr. are expected to compete for starting spots.
“We’ve been working hard but we know we’ve got a young team and we can’t let up at all,” Pascazi said. “The juniors are coming up and they are practicing hard. Everyone is looking really good.”
After years of thin numbers Walsh has one of his biggest teams with 16 players. The Bombers will try to integrate 10 new players into the playing rotation.
Chilelli had an excellent season offensively at leadoff last year, while Matt Burns and Sam Hauser will look to carry over their offensive success from last postseason. Newcomer Kyle Walsh should see playing time in the outfield this season.
“Everyone on this team knows they can’t really take a day off,” said Burns, a a four-year varsity catcher who will play catcher this season. “Everyone is fighting for positions, trying to stay in the lineup.”
Patrick Walsh is expecting another tough season in the Wayne County League as evidenced by their 2-1 loss to Lyons in Monday’s season opener. The Bombers also have a tough game against a talented Gananda team on Thursday.
Page 2 of 2 - ER faces an interesting non-league schedule featuring games against Webster Schroeder and Greece Odyssey. They return to Wayne County League play on April 16 against North Rose-Wolcott, who they lost to twice last season.
“We had some pretty good teams come out of our league last year,” Patrick Walsh said. “It’s a tough league, especially at the tough. We have been fortunate to get good players in our league.”