What do you remember about the 2012 team? They hit the crap out of the ball. I remember they were literally one of the best hitting teams I’ve ever seen. And I also remember the game they lost in states, which was rough.
Were you around that team much? Yeah. I’m neighbors with (Joey) Runco, so I was always at his house. Billy (Nelson), I was good friends with. He was a senior when I was a freshman. Other than that, maybe (Justin) Haddix, because basketball — me and him used to play pickup basketball a lot. And Randy (Darrow), because I played with him.
You were at the game in 2012. What was the feeling like when that team lost? You could tell by the fans reactions and their reactions, when the game was getting later in the game, that obviously, you can start off a game slow, the first two, three innings, but then when it got to the fifth and the sixth and they still didn’t have a hit, it was like ‘Wow, this is getting a little out of hand.’ It was definitely a shock though, from everyone. They were a powerhouse hitting team. You never thought that they would get one hit, and their only hit was in the seventh inning, so it was definitely a shock.
What would it mean for you guys to get a state win? It would mean a lot, knowing that the 2012 team lost in the first round, sort of. Winning this game would pick everyone up, you know what I mean? It would give us more confidence going into the next round even. Because you think a team with that caliber in 2012 didn’t win their first game, and then we come out and win a game, it’s going to give us more confidence than we think.
How does the 2012 team compare to your team? That team, they were all big guys, they had big beards, they were power guys. And we’re more of a finesse, quick kind of team. They probably had 15-20 home runs that season. We have three. So, I think we’re more of single, double kind of a team. They’re more of a home run, power team.
How about the pitching this year? Ryan Deom shocked us all this year. He’s a stud. He’s going to be — by the team he’s a junior, senior — he’s going to be really good. He’s doing really well for us. He does what he needs to do: he lets the team hit the ball, we make the plays in the field. Charlie (Lamparter’s) been with us for three years, and he’s always been a reliable pitcher to have. He can come in, like he did at the district championship, and just close it out like that. And Cory Wall, he usually is our closer, but he got hurt, that’s why he came out (of the district championship game), he’s stepped up big, too. We didn’t expect that from him either, but he’s doing big things. We’re really grateful for that.
You just graduated Friday and you guys are still playing, but are you excited for the next step at Monmouth? I’m definitely excited. I saw (Scranton Prep grad and Monmouth outfielder) Chris Gaetano’s tweet the other day and it said ‘Watching regionals from home stinks. Next year’s our year,’ and it gave me the chills because I thought, ‘Wow, I’m going to be on that team.’
Was it always a goal to play baseball in college? I knew from a young age that I wanted to play baseball after high school, so it was great knowing that it happened.