Coach Mike Miller will be in the dugout as Honesdale embarks on its Lackawanna League campaign
After spending more than three weeks trapped inside due to inclement weather, a sense of urgency is starting to develop since Honesdale's 2014 Lackawanna League season is slated to begin April 3.
“Don't get me wrong, we've really gotten a lot accomplished inside,” said Coach Mike Miller. “But, we really need to some at-bats and innings outside in game situations.”
The Hornets will open up next Thursday afternoon at home against Scranton High.
First pitch for this Division I-II crossover contest is tentatively set for 4:30 p.m. at Keith Sutton Memorial Field.
Honesdale's varsity roster is packed with talented kids from top to bottom.
However, two players projected to play major roles this spring are already lost for the year.
Adam Kelly (one of the league's top young middle infielders) and Ben Corbin (a rock-solid catcher) will miss the entire season with basketball-related injuries.
“We're really going to miss them,” Coach Miller said. “Adam was arguably the best hitter on our team last year and Ben definitely was going to see serious time at the varsity level.”
While Honesdale's skipper obviously laments those losses, he also thinks that the injuries will force other players to assume leadership roles.
“Different kids lead in different ways,” said Coach Miller. “We have seniors who I expect will step up just because they've been there and have experience.
Gus Martin, Noah Box and Alex Sandercock are three veteran players expected to emerge as vocal leaders on and off the diamond.
Martin will open the season behind the plate, while Box should be the starting shortstop and Sandercock returns at first.
Coach Miller thinks this trio should be instrumental in setting a positive tone.
However, he also believes that players like Pat Hart (second base), Logan Freiermuth (DH), Alex Evanitsky (OF) and AJ Meyer (OF) are poised for a breakout year.
“Our junior class is just loaded,” he said. “We have so much talent that it may be hard to find innings for everyone early on. But, it's also a nice problem to have and we'll figure it out.”
Sophomore Spencer Goyette is also in the mix coming off the bench as a pinch hitter and defensively in the middle infield.
On the Mound
Dale Weidner will be at the forefront of Honesdale's rotation this spring.
A crafty senior southpaw, Weidner enjoyed solid success last year in the always-rugged Lackawanna League.
Weidner features an unorthodox motion, varies his arm angle and mixes pitches nicely.
“Dale is a quiet kid, but when he steps on that hill everyone believes that we have a chance to win,” said Coach Miller. “I'm really looking for Dale to have a big season for us.”
Kevin Miller enters the spring off a record-setting basketball season. A jack-of-all-trades on the baseball field, Miller is a fireballing righty who enters the fray as Honesdale's #2 starter.
Logan Freiermuth, Sully Rutledge and Nick Casazza will also figure prominently in this year's rotation.
Casazza in particular is an intriguing commodity. A junior who sat out last year, Nick is a hard-throwing lefty who would add depth to the rotation.
North Pocono has been the class of the Lackawanna League the past two years.
Under the direction of veteran skipper Brian Jardine, the Trojans have earned back-to-back titles in Division I (2012) and Division II (2013).
Honesdale struggled to a 4-9 record in the regular season last year, finishing third behind the Trojans (10-3) and DV (8-5)
Wallenpaupack Area and Western Wayne rounded out the standings with identical 3-10 records.