A team can’t dwell on the past, and the Cardinal O’Hara Hawks are following that mantra.
After a disappointing 1-9 overall regular season, the Hawks came into the Monsignor Martin League playoffs as the No. 7 seed and were blown out by St. Joe’s 17-2 to end their 2016 campaign.
This year’s team is hoping to rewrite O’Hara’s recent baseball woes.
“We’re trying to improve every game and notice that improvement, and reach our full potential hopefully by mid-season,” said Hawks head coach Henry Caso. “Then in the second half of the season, we’ll show everyone what we’ve got.”
What the Hawks will need to address heading into their 2017 schedule is their pitching, as they are looking to lower last year’s 12.09 team ERA. Senior Nick Buscaglia will be the number one arm, with junior Cameron Sloma and sophomore Kevin Wojcinski also assumingly in the starting rotation. O’Hara can also look to juniors Jack Akins and Carlos Didas as well as senior Chase Moreland as assets on the mound.
“I think we have some solid pitchers in the bullpen,” said junior Aiden O’Lay. “We have some nice hitters as well. I think we’re looking good heading into the season.” O’Lay is in his third year behind the plate on O’Hara’s varsity squad. His spot at catcher is one of the more secure positions on the roster.
In the field, the Hawks seem to have key positions filled.
“Baseball is built on the theory that if you’re strong up the middle, you’ll be a strong team and we’re very strong up the middle,” said Caso. “The only potential hole I see is third base, and there are two to three guys on the team who could step up to fill that hole.”
Wojcinski and Sloma should be the names to watch for at second and short for the Hawks this season.
In terms of offense, the Hawks are going need the bats to get going early if they want success. With only 29 runs accumulated over their 11 games last year, it’s yet another point of emphasis for this team.
“I think our offense has a lot of potential this year,” said Moreland. “We have some good, developing players and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
One of those young players is sophomore Joe Turri, who received a couple call-ups from the Hawks’ JV squad last season during his freshman year. Seniors Dante Lattuca, Cameron Klaiber and Nick Alagna along with junior Kellan Daley will also look to make an impact.
With all that being said, coach Caso’s key to success isn’t on the field, but in the locker room.
“The key to success is to come together as one family and supporting one another,” said Caso. “(The team chemistry) is loose right now, it’ll be interesting to see where we are when the jerseys go on.”
The Hawks will open their conference play and season on April 19th, as they travel to Athol Springs to take on St. Francis.