Brayden Clark is the only returning member of last year’s District 15 champion Beverly Litttle League all-star team.
However, nine of the Garden City all-star team’s newcomers were on the Beverly 11-year-old all star team that also won District 15 last July.
“The team looks good. In my opinion, we’ve got a real gritty bunch of kids who love the game, come everyday and give their all,” said Beverly manager Jim Petrosino. “We return nine kids out of the team that won District 11, which is a good sign. It gives us a little confidence.”
The strength of this year’s team looks to be its pitching depth. With strict pitch counts and little time to rest between games, teams need as many good arms as possible.
Clark brings experience to the staff having pitched on last year’s district all-star team. He will be joined by hurlers Robby Black, Shane Cassidy, Bryce Kopcak, Matthew Miller, Cameron Schlegel and 11-year-old Tyler Petrosino.
Just as important as the pitchers will be the guys behind them. This year’s Beverly team has a lot of athletes capable of moving around the diamond, which gives Petrosino a lot of different options.
“The infield is very solid,” noted Petrosino. “We’ve got kids who I believe can play multiple positions and are multi-purpose players. That gives us flexibility.”
Clark and Cassidy will be the two shortstops, the 11-year-old Petrosino plays first and third base, Miller plays first, Nick McIntyre will be at second, Black plays first and Matthew Ploszay will be behind the plate.
The outfielders include Mike Anderson (centerfield), Jackson Erwin, Nathan Randazza, Andrew Samperi and Schlegel.
“The biggest things needed at this level are speed, deep pitching and playing solid defense,” said Petrosino. “You need to make the basic plays and not give teams extra outs.