SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 10, 2013

Danvers 2013 Spring Sports Previews

BASEBALL

Last year’s record: 17-6 (NEC Small champions, lost in Division 2 North second round)

Head coach: Roger Day (26th season, 392-170)

Captains: Ray Arocho, Sr., P/OF; Dan Connors, Sr., 2B; A.J. Couto, Sr., OF

Key Returnees: Evan Eldridge, Sr., SS; Anthony Garron, Sr., OF; Brandon Hyde, Jr., P; Joe Strangie, Sr., OF; Joe Olszak, Jr., C; Andy Olszak, Fr., 3B; Ryan Heber, Jr., 3B; Rafael Tylus, Jr., 1B/P; Richie Martino, So., P.

Strengths: Defense and experience. The Falcons are very strong up the middle with Eldridge and Connors returning at the double play spots, plus Arocho and Garron in the outfield. Danvers returns six of nine starters from last year’s lineup and has solid leadership from the seniors.

Concerns: Pitching depth. Arocho and Hyde have proven they have the ability to win games in the always-competitive Northeastern Conference, but Danvers is looking for arms to fill out the rotation and the bullpen.

Coach’s Outlook: “Our season will come down to how we pitch. We should be solid defensively and experience-wise, (and) we should hit better than we’ve hit. We have to find some ways to make things work and have to make sure we’re getting better for the end of the year.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 19-4 (Lost in the Div. 2 North semifinals to Dracut)

Head coach: Tara Petrocelli (10th season)

Captains: Chrissy Gikas, Sr., 2B; Julia Saggese, Sr., OF; Kendall Meehan, Jr., P.

Key Returnees: Devin Johnson, Jr., P/1/B; Caitlin McBride, So., C/3B; Devyn Downs, Jr., 1B; Brittany Dougal, So., SS.

Strengths: Pitcher Kendall Meehan is back for her third season on the mound for the Falcons.

Concerns: Danvers graduated a great field general and leader in Sam DiBella behind the plate. Petrocelli will be looking for girls to step into the catchers role, but has lots of young talent to choose from and sophomore Caitlin McBride could very well fill that position.

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