Under the direction of coaches Pete Goyette & Eric Eisele, the young Hornets played well in the Lackawanna League.
Pete Goyette was just a little bit concerned following his team's Opening Day efforts against North Pocono.
Honesdale's junior varsity baseball coach had watched helplessly from the dugout as his youngsters suffered an ugly, lopsided loss at the hands of the Trojans.
“We had so little actual practice time outside that I really didn't know what to expect,” Coach Goyette admitted. “Let's just say it wasn't the best way to start our season, that's for sure.”
As it turned out, though, his worries were put to rest the very next game.
Honesdale bounced back with a stellar performance against Wallenpaupack Area, playing nearly perfect baseball en route to a satisfying 2-1 victory.
“That was a huge win for us,” Coach Goyette said. “It's always good to beat your biggest rival, but that game in particular was very, very important.”
From that point on, the young Hornets held their own with every team in the Lackawanna League. They closed out the campaign on a high note, winning two of their last three games to finish off the season with a respectable 6-7 record.
“I enjoyed working with these boys so much,” Coach Goyette said.
“Even though the weather was awful and we had very little practice time, they stayed focused and really came together as a team.”
Goyette and his assistant, Eric Eisele, were quick to point out that every boy on the roster contributed to the team's success.
However, three players in particular accepted the mantle of leadership on and off the field.
Spencer Goyette was the ace of Honesdale's pitching staff this spring. A hard-throwing righty who also played shortstop, Goyette was at the front of the Red & Black rotation.
Goyette was the starter and winner in that crucial early season win over the Buckhorns. Spencer went 5.2 innings before handing the ball off to the bullpen.
He also contributed mightily at the plate and in the field. Goyette flashed Gold Glove leather in the middle infield and also closed out the campaign as his team's leading hitter.
He went 4-for-5 in his last two games to finish up at an even .500.
“Spencer had a very good season,” Coach Goyette said. “He isn't the most vocal kid in the world, but he leads by example and keeps everyone in the game.”
Jack Rickard also earned high marks from his junior varsity mentor.
A freshman who played first base and batted in the three-hole, Rickard was a major presence in the field and at the plate.
“Jack is an outstanding athlete,” Coach Goyette said. “He can do it all. Jack is a big, strong kid. He can hit the ball out of the park, but he can also beat out an infield single.”
Johnny Werner is the third member of this talented diamond trio.
A junior who patrols centerfield for the Red & Black, Werner batted .400 and provided plenty of pop from the clean-up spot.
“Johnny can track down anything hit to the outfield,” said Coach Goyette. “He has great range and really good speed. Johnny can hit for power or he can lay down a perfect bunt, too.”
In a Nutshell
Honesdale nailed down what was arguably its best win of the spring late in the campaign.
Once again, the Hornets were looking to rebound from what might have been a crippling loss.
The local lads carried a 4-3 lead into the top of the seventh against Delaware Valley, but let it get away and eventually suffered a heartbreaking setback in extra innings.
Less than 48 hours later, they got a shot at redemption and took full advantage.
Spencer Goyette took the hill and pitched six innings of dominant baseball. Logan Freiermuth came on to close things out in the seventh, sealing the deal on a 5-1 victory.
“I was so proud of our boys after that win,” Coach Goyette said. “They showed a lot of heart and character against Delaware Valley.”
The Hornets celebrated the end of their season with a “field trip” to PNC Park in Moosic. There, they enjoyed pre-game tailgating in the parking lot, then field inside to take in an exciting RailRiders game.
“It was a really nice way to end the season,” said Coach Goyette. “I can't tell you how much fun I had with these kids.
“They were a pleasure to coach and I think we're going to see quite a few of them at the varsity level in the next few years.”