With a deep pitching staff and strong defense, the Daniel Boone City/County Junior Division Orioles hope to get on a roll as the season goes along and string together some wins. The questions is whether the team can score enough runs to support the pitching.
“I’m very excited for this coming season,” said Head Coach Nick Rubino. “All of the players seem focused, excited and ready to go out and compete every day. The team really molds well and it will show on the field.”
The team started off well, but after playing three games in four days, the team has struggled.
“But there has been no sign of quit, and we will be right back on track soon enough,” said Rubino.
Right now the goal for the team is just to figure out how to score runs without much power. Once the team can do that, Coach Rubino likes his team’s chances of making the playoffs.
“I feel like the key to reaching out goals this year is by buying into the new style of baseball I’m trying to inject,” said Rubino. “We don’t have a very big team size wise, but all are very solid fundamentally. As an offense we need to manufacture runs with bunting, hit and runs and grabbing extra bases whenever we can. If we stick to the plan, we will reach our goals.”
“Our team goals are to individually get better in every aspect of the game, both physically and mentally. As a team we have the playoffs in our sight and feel like we can make a legitimate run through playoffs if we play our game.”
Leading the team will be a trio of players who will be counted heavily this season: A.J. Carr, Ryan Zamichieli and Jordan Goodrich.
Carr will be the team’s shortstop, a position he plays very well. His bat is getting better with every game as he’s starting to drive the ball more often.
“What makes A.J. stand out is his baseball IQ,” said Coach Rubino. “He knows where the ball should go if it is hit to any player on the field. Also he anticipates the plays very well. He seems to know where the ball is going to be hit before the swing. He’s a leader on and off the field, and really keeps the team focused. He’s one of our captains, chosen by the players and is a great player to coach.”
Zamichieli (also a team captain) will be the ace of the pitching staff, while spending the rest of thye time in the outfield. He has had great command of his pitches this season and it has shown by hurling a one hitter in one game and two other very good starts.
“He doesn’t throw by batters, but he uses his location very well,” said Rubino. “He also has been able to use his change-up no matter the count. A lot of young pitchers think you need a really good breaking ball at this age to be effective. And the change-up has become a lost art. He knows it’s his best pitch, and uses it well.”
Goodrich is offensive leader of the team. He hits to all fields and will make the pitcher work for his outs. He also has the potential to provice some power for the team.
He will also see a lot of time on the mound. With a good fastball, he will come on in the late innings to try to shut the other team down to keep a lead.
Zamichieli and Goodrich are just two pitchers from a very deep staff.
“Our biggest strength as a team this year is our pitching and defense,” said Rubino. “We have a very deep staff and I feel comfortable throwing any pitcher at anytime. Our defense is also very solid. When we are playing well, we are dominate defensively. Our mental defense is also very strong. We know exactly what were going to do with the ball if its hit to us.
“Our biggest improvement we need is on the offense We do not have very big bats and we can struggle sometimes stringing hits together and scoring runs with power. But when we stick to small ball, we have no problem scoring as many as we need. We’re not flashy by putting up six runs an inning, but we can put a run across every inning.”