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The 19U Exeter Cardinals are ready to make some noise this summer in the City County Baseball League. They have a lot of talent from the top of the line-up to the bottom and they are a real contender this year.
"We have put together a very talented group of ballplayers that hail from many different areas in Southeastern Pennsylvania who love and respect the game," said Head Coach Brian Hayes. "Our team is comprised of a combination of players who have been through, and currently play on the Exeter Cardinals and Grand Slam Blue Rock programs.
"Our team goal for this season will be to compete for a City County Senior Division Championship and prepare our players for high school, collegiate baseball and beyond."
The team has players from high schools such as Twin Valley, Exeter, Tulpehocken Governor Mifflin, Wilson and High Point Baptist Acamey. There are also players who have come back from college after a season playing at the collegiate level.
Among those who will be leading the team will be second baseman Izzack Albright, who had a great season as a senior at Twin Valley H.S. this spring. He will play college ball for Cecil College and Maryland.
"Izzack was one of the most feared offensive players in Berks County during the 2012 high school season," said Coach Hayes. "He's a very hard working individual, and more importantly, a respectful solid citizen. We are looking for big things out of Izzack this summer.
At shortstop will be Daniel Boone junior John Reina. The switch hitter will lead-off for the Cardinals this summer. He was selected to play on the Berks County Carpenter Cup team and was named to the All-Berks team after his season with the Blazers.
"He is a very hard working kid, a natural leader and a bulldog on the baseball field," said Coach Hayes. "He displays gap to gap power with above average speed and base stealing ability. He also displays above average quickness and lateral movement defensively and features a rocket arm."
After playing his junior season at Wilson High School, Andy Ravel will join the Cardianls' pitching staff. He features a very good fastball with an above average slider.
In centerfield will be Taylor Luckenbill who just completed his senior season at Pottsville's Nativity BVM High School. He has committed to play baseball at Fordham University next spring.
"Taylor is an exceptional hitter with above average speed and power," said Coach Hayes. "He is a five-tool player with tremendous ability and upside. More importantly, he is one of the friendliest and respectful players that I have ever coached."
Danny Louviaux, a junior at Tulpehocken, will be a utility player for Cardinals.
"Danny can play any position on the baseball field very well and is easily the smartest and most fundamentally sound baseball player that I have ever coached," said Hayes. "Having Danny on the team is like having another coach on the field. Danny is a very easy going kid, and all of his teammates respect him and his ability very much."
Nick Feeney is a 2010 graduate of Exeter Township High School and has been a member of the Cardinals since 2008. Feeney is a left-handed pitcher will be back after his sophomore season at West Chester University.
"Nick is a shut down pitcher who works ahead and changes speeds effectively," said Hayes. "He understands how the Exeter Cardinals program operates and has been around for much of the success the program has endured over the past six seasons.
"Our players have been battle tested and have played in many big games in high school and through showcase travel ball. We have some very solid offensive baseball players that feature the ability to drive the ball in the gaps. Our pitching and defense have been stellar and we look for this to continue as the season progresses."
The Cardinals could be involved in some high scoring games since they have such a potent offensive line-up. If the pitching can hold down the opposition, this will be a very big year for the Cardinals.
"We should be in great shape this season," said Coach Hayes. "With the group of talented offensive ballplayers that we have, I feel that we have the ability to compete well in any game we play."