Little brothers no more

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Little brothers no more

The success of the team will ultimately come down to the pitching, which is the deepest it has been in years.

The success of the team will ultimately come down to the pitching, which is the deepest it has been in years.

Photo by Renee Abu-Zaghibra / The Skyline View

The success of the team will ultimately come down to the pitching, which is the deepest it has been in years.

Photo by Renee Abu-Zaghibra / The Skyline View

Photo by Renee Abu-Zaghibra / The Skyline View

The success of the team will ultimately come down to the pitching, which is the deepest it has been in years.

Reynaldo Garcia, TSV Interim Sport Editor

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The grass has never been greener, as so it seems with the upcoming Trojan baseball season.

After a disappointing, injury-riddled 2013 season, the team returns a bevy of sophomores along with a huge cast of freshmen, with hopes to again contend for the league championship and beyond. “We’re an experienced team,” said Coach Dino Nomicos. “We have a chance to compete for the league championship but ultimately we’re looking to get back to the state playoffs.”

The team has 19 first year players, but that inexperience is belied by the battle-tested 12 players who are returning from last year’s squad. “We took our lumps (last year),” Nomicos said. “We were young.” “Last year was tough. It was a little fork in the road,” said left fielder Dabian Canales. “It definitely will be different this year.” After a trying last season, those returning feel more prepared, and will help the newcomers adjust and try to get them to contribute to the team.

“As sophomores, we progressed and can teach the freshmen and give them leadership,” Canales said. The team lacked consistent pitching last year, and a great deal of it was due to inexperience. The team ERA last year was a ghastly 5.62, a number the team hopes to lower.

“We’re starting as an experienced offensive club,” Nomicos said. “(But) this year our strength is pitching. Our success will come down to our pitching.”

The pitching staff is one of the deepest the team has had in years, according to pitching Coach Tony Brunicardi.
“It’s a good group of pitchers, a lot of depth,” Brunicardi said. Bryan Hidalgo will get the call on opening day. Other pitchers of the tentative main rotation include Daniel Madigan and Aldo Severson, but starting pitchers are strongly based on matchups. And there are plenty of good pitchers with whom Coaches Nomicos and Brunicardi can throw at opponents.

“There are so many good pitchers on the staff,” Hidalgo said. “But it’s an honor to start on opening day.”

“There are guys who could be in starting roles on top of the three quality starters,” Brunicardi said. “It’s a good problem to have.”

Some of those key pitchers include Cage Gascone, Tommy Caufield and Sean Collins, along with returning closer Daniel Morales.

The team faces stiff competition from within the conference, but the team believes they have something besides their talent that can’t be quantified in numbers: chemistry.

“We have better chemistry this year around. It’s like a brotherhood,” Canales said.

Of course with the beginning of the season, optimism is going to be at a high, but this is the year the team believe they can go all the way.

“The team has a chance to do something special. We have a shot to be pretty good,” Brunicardi said. “We will battle this year for the first three spots,” said Nomicos. “We play for the state playoffs.”