Western Wayne should be an exciting team to watch this spring
Western Wayne had an up and down season last spring on the varsity baseball scene.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start by winning twice in the early going, but then went into a tailspin that saw them drop six straight.
However, the local lads turned things around late, splitting their final four games and even posting an impressive win over eventual District Two AAA champion Lakeland.
With rookie head coach John Boandl at the helm, the 'Cats are hoping to build on that late-season success and make a playoff push.
“I'm definitely excited and pretty optimistic,” said Coach Boandl. “The kids have been working very hard. They're pumped to get out there and compete.”
Boandl is a product of the Western Wayne system and has spent the last two years at the junior high level. He succeeds his brother, Drew, who's now on the staff at Keystone College.
“We finished strong last season,” he said. “We were really playing pretty good baseball there at the end. I just want us to use what we learned and build on it.”
Weather permitting, the Wildcats will be back on the diamond Wednesday at Holy Cross. They'll then travel to the University of Scranton Sunday for a game with Carbondale Area.
First pitch for each of these contests is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
On the Mound
Coach Boandl didn't hesitate even for a moment when asked what he thinks will be his team's strength this season.
“Pitching,” he replied. “We have some really good kids and some pretty good depth, too. We should be able to pitch with just about anybody.”
Logan Bolduc will be at the front of the rotation.
A fireballing righthander, Bolduc enters his senior season looking to prove that the injury issues which once haunted him have been exorcised for good.
“He's looking fantastic right now,” Coach Boandl said. “Logan has a ton of experience. He throws hard, but he can mix things up a little bit too. I'm expecting a big year from Logan.”
Brandon Garnett and Patrick Seeley will also be key parts of the Wildcat rotation this season.
Garnett is a battle-tested righty, while Seeley is a southpaw who features a dazzling array of breaking pitches.
“They've both pitched in big situations and big games in the past,” Coach Boandl said. “Brandon and Pat are both solid pitchers and they've been lights-out so far this spring.”
Offensively, Western Wayne will be looking for big things from Zane Janiszewski. A sophomore who batted .470 last year, Janiszewski will catch and
“I've coached Zane ever since seventh and eighth grade,” Boandl said. “He's a very talented athlete and an excellent baseball player.”
Zach Malcolm and Mark Christina will act as table setters for the 'Cats in 2019.
Malcolm is a sophomore who'll play third base and bat lead-off, while Christina is a lightning-quick frosh who'll see action in the outfield and likely hit in the two-hole.
“Both of those kids can really run,” Coach Boandl said. “We're looking for Zach and Mark to get on base, make things happen and score some runs.”
Western Wayne's current roster features an intriguing mix of seasoned veterans and talented youngtsers.
Seniors David Tucker, Pat Seeley, Brandon Garnett, Alex Kuha, Rob Carey and Logan Bolduc lead the way. This is an experienced group that could propel the Wildcats right into the thick of the championship chase.
“They're a great bunch of kids,” Coach Boandl said. “I'm really expecting them to step up as leaders on and off the field.”
Western Wayne will be competing in the Lackawanna League's newly realigned Division II this year. The 'Cats will battle with the likes of Honesdale, Paupack, DV and North Pocono.
They'll also play crossover games against Division I squads Scranton, Abington Heights, West Scranton and Prep.
The key for Western Wayne will be holding serve versus its divisional opponents while making some inroads against some of the traditional powers.
“We have to avoid that early season slump like we had last year,” said Coach Boandl. “If we can win a few games and get into the playoffs, I feel like this team has the potential to make a nice run.”