Coming off a 23-7 season, the Steinert Spartans are confident that they can continue their success in 2018. However, they will have to overcome the loss of several key players, as they will only be returning three starters from last year.
In addition, the Spartans will be without longtime head coach Brian Gialella. Legendary Mercer County Legion Baseball coach Rick Freeman is set to take over, and the Spartans should not miss a beat.
Returning starters: C Draven Kowalski, SS Joe Sacco, 2B CJ Pittaro
Despite his team’s relative youth, coach Rick Freeman is optimistic going into the season. “They’re a very coachable group of kids, so that’s always a plus. They’re good baseball players, that’s another plus. It’s a long season, and it’s going to be a one step at a time process, but that’s how every season is, whether you’re experienced or not. These kids have all had success at every level they’ve played at, so just coming up to a higher level, it might take a little longer to adjust than normal, but I have confidence that that adjustment will be made.”
Players to look out for: Joe Sacco, CJ Pittaro, Draven Kowalski
“CJ Pittaro is a sophomore who is already verbally committed to Vanderbilt, so that gives us a lot of experience and talent in the middle,” Coach Freeman said.
Player who may surprise some people: Brendan James
“He took a little time last year to adjust to the varsity level, so he didn’t play as much as we had hoped he would early, but he’s made a lot of progress so far this spring” Freeman explained. “He’s someone that is going to make people take notice.”
“We’ve got some new faces, definitely,” outfielder Ryan Meszaros said. “I think that’s a great thing because we’ve also got some veterans to help guide them. Last year didn’t end on the note we wanted it to, but we’ve been using that as motivation throughout the offseason and preseason, and I think we’ve got great things in store this year.”
Shortstop Joe Sacco echoes similar sentiments. “We’ve been looking pretty good so far, and I know we’re all really excited to play on Saturday,” Sacco stated. “We’re looking forward to a good season.”
The Spartans season in its entirety can be watched live on wbcbsports.com.