Seniors should lead the way for Fitch baseball
March 18, 2020


A total of eight seniors return to the Fitch baseball team in 2020.

With the exceptional talent dispersed amongst that group, eight may be enough for the Falcons to fly an All American Conference championship banner this year. The key component when talking about this bunch is an outstanding mindset.

"They have a great attitude," said head coach Joe Paris about his senior players. "If we're not successful it won't be because of a lack of effort."

The two Fitch seniors expected to put forth the best effort are left-handed hurlers Patrick Coleman and Trey Giannini. Both lefties are tall and come at opposing hitters like an out of control windmill. Coleman has already accepted his invitation to continue his playing career at Walsh College and will be Fitch's top starter. Giannini will slot in directly behind his teammate.

"Coleman was our number two (starter) last year and we're confident that he'll fill that number one role this year," Paris said. "Giannini was hurt half of the year last year but still pitched well when we called on him."

The elected captain of the Falcons is senior returnee T.J. Piroch. He'll play third base. Right fielder Gabe Faunda we'll be playing college baseball at Malone College next spring, but first he'll bat third in Paris' lineup. Senior Casey Bokesch had a wonderful offensive 2019 and he'll be back to play first base. Josh Corll and Ryan Fronzaglio are two other Fitch seniors who will see plenty of playing time. The eighth and final Fitch senior is left fielder Lorenzo Russo who, unfortunately, is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during football season. There is a good chance that he'll find his way back to the outfield before the end of his senior campaign.

"Hopefully (Russo) only misses a couple of weeks," said Paris.

Two of the most important pieces to this Fitch baseball puzzle are representatives of the junior class. Jake Lawrence and Alarik Sierra return to man the middle of Fitch's infield and, according to their coach, are two of the slickest in the area.

"Our middle infield of Lawrence and Sierra is back," said Paris. "It's the best (middle infield) I've seen since I've been here."

Center fielder Derek Franken is a junior letter winner who displays great defensive skills. With Franken in center and his two junior brethren at shortstop and second base, the Falcons should be fabulous up the middle. Making that assumption complete is the placement of sophomore Joe Roth at catcher. He'll be a first time varsity starter at backstop, but Paris isn't the least bit concerned.

"(Roth) has a ton of potential," said the coach. "We called him up to play versus Mooney last year and he really impressed. We have Bokesch to back him up if we need to."

Juniors Larry Iagulli, Vinnie Sciortino and Ross Linert round out Fitch's roster. It's a group that will lean on Coleman, Giannini and the magnificent middle defense to get them through the start of the season.

"Pitching and defense should be very good," he explained. "You can be in a lot of games that way. Good pitching usually beats good hitting.

Coach Paris then hopes by the time the tournament rolls around, the hitting will also become a force. "Our main concern is our offense," he said. "We lost our top three hitters (from last year). We have a lot of guys that are going to have to step up."

In order for the Falcons to step up from the middle of the AAC pack this season, they'll have to avoid getting swept by defending league champion Canfield in a home-in-home series in late April. The Cardinals are the outfit that Fitch's coach tabbed as the one to beat in 2020.

"Canfield is loaded again," Paris said. "Boardman is always good too. The rest of us will be fighting to catch them."


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