Club Baseball Gears Up for Second Season

L to R, back row: Kevin Zumbrum, Steve Spazante, RJ Yutt, Matt Kozar, Jonathon Derkits, Mike Sandler, Eric Hiryak, Sean Crampsie; front row: Kyle Edgar, Matt Petrini, Brenden O'Leary, Chris Martrich, Justin Reiss, Dan Luque (Shannon Hoffman photo)
L to R, back row: Kevin Zumbrum, Steve Spazante, RJ Yudt, Matt Kozar, Jonathon Derkits, Mike Sandler, Eric Hiryak, Sean Crampsie; front row: Kyle Edgar, Matt Petrini, Brendan O'Leary, Chris Martrich, Justin Reiss, Dan Luque (Shannon Hoffman photo)

It’s that time of year again…Time to lace up those spikes, break in that new Mizuno baseball glove and Louisville Sluggers as the spring season rolls, bringing in the second annual season for the Bloomsburg Club Baseball Team.

The team enters the spring season with a 2-5 record from last fall. However, head coach Sean Crampsie remains optimistic. “We’re going to have a successful season,” Crampsie said. With an arraignment of talent throughout the lineup, the Huskies are primed and ready for the fierce competitors on their schedule. Opponents such as Loyola, UPenn, St. Joes, Bucknell, Leigh, Villanova, and Montgomery Community College, the Huskies feel confident they could rise to the top of their division.

With the inclement weather kicking into gear throughout the winter months, the Club Team doesn’t let the current forecast hinder their progress. With the help of the Student Recreation Center, the Club Team practices every Tuesday and Thursday nights as they work on conditioning, fielding, and pitching. “We’re a lot more prepared from last season due to the fact that the Rec is available to us,” says Crampsie.

“We have new guys on the squad since last year, but we also feel confident about the guys from last season,” Crampsie elaborates as he prepares his opening day roster for their March 15 match-up against Loyola University.

First Base: Sophomore RJ Yudt will be making the transition from outfield to first base this season. Yudt, a spot starter in the outfield last fall, will be counted on to take the bulk of the starts at first. Freshman Raymond Taddeo and Sophomore Michael Sandler will also vie for playing time at first.

RJ Yutt (Shannon Hoffman photo)
RJ Yudt (Shannon Hoffman photo)

Second Base: Senior Joey McDermott, junior Kevin Zumbrum, and freshman Kyle Edgar will all split time at second for the Huskies. Edgar seems to have an edge at the starting roll, but with the depth at second, it’s anybody’s position.

Shortstop: Returning at shortstop will be junior Anthony Trutt. Trutt will be counted on to anchor this young and talented infield for the Huskies. A former Juniata Eagle, Trutt is a solid number three hitter along with a strong arm at short, should help this middle infield for the Huskies. Freshman Steve Spazante will compete for playing time behind Trutt.

Third Base: Senior and former Bloomsburg varsity standout Nick Lerch will be positioned at third for the Huskies. Lerch, along with Trutt, will provide power in the middle of the order along with timely fielding at the hot corner. Steve Spazante will also compete for playing time at third base.

Catcher: Freshman Brendan O’Leary will be counted on to anchor this strong pitching staff for the Huskies this spring. O’Leary is an all-around solid catcher with a strong arm which could limit opponents steal attempts this season. At the plate, O’Leary has shown the ability to hit the long ball as he belted a three run homer aganist national ranked Pittsburgh Panthers last October.

Brenden O'Leary (Shannon Hoffman photo)
Brendan O'Leary (Shannon Hoffman photo)

Outfield: Senior Matt Kozar will be starting in left field for the Huskies along with Michael Sandler competing for playing time. The tandem of junior Eric Hiryak and sophomore James Kearns will be splitting time in right field for the Huskies. Senior and former Penn State Nittany Lion Matt Petrini returns in center field for the Huskies and will be counted on to anchor this talented outfield this spring. “Hiryak, Kearns, and Petrini are speedsters which could cause havoc on the base paths for opposing teams,” Crampsie elaborates.

Mike Sandler (Shannon Hoffman photo)
Mike Sandler (Shannon Hoffman photo) Eric Hiryak (Shannon Hoffman photo) Matt Petrini (Shannon Hoffman photo)

Starting Pitching: Junior and former Bloomsburg varsity standout Jonathan Derkits will start opening day for the Huskies aganist Loyola. With a fastball in the high 80s along with a sharp curve ball, Derkits will be counted on to shutdown hitters at the plate. Derkits went six strong last season against Princeton, not allowing a run in a decisive victory.

Senior Justin Reiss or freshman Chris Martich will start game two against Loyola. Reiss, a southpaw with a sharp curve ball and a fastball inching in the high 70s, will provide coach Crampsie with five to six innings each outing. Martrich features a sharp fastball along with a solid breaking pitch which will finish off hitters at the plate. Matt Kozar will contribute as spot starter for the Huskies.

Jonathon Derkits (Shannon Hoffman photo)
Jonathon Derkits (Shannon Hoffman photo)Justin Reiss (Shannon Hoffman photo)

Relief Pitching: The Huskies bullpen will feature several arms which have already pitched at the college level before. Trutt will provide innings out of the bullpen along with closer Michael Matos, who is another former Bloomsburg Varsity Huskie.

Trutt features fastball in the 80s and a knuckle ball which appears un-hittable to would-be hitters. Matos, at 6 feet 8 inches, provides a sharp fastball in the high 80s which compliments his solid breaking ball, and slider.  Matos will be the Huskies key for success in the latter innings. Lerch, freshman Dan Luque and Kevin Zumbrum will also compete for innings for the Huskies this spring.

Outlook: Along with the returning players, the Bloomsburg Club team feels confident that they could compete and win the championship this season. Pitching and fielding are the keys for winning games Crampsie feels. He hopes their team will learn from last season and use it during the spring campaign.

The team invites editor Shannon Hoffman to take a swing. (Matt Petrini photo)
The team invites editor Shannon Hoffman to take a swing. (Matt Petrini photo)