SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

DANVERS FALCONS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014

BASEBALL

Last Year’s Record: 21-4 (NEC South champs, lost in Division 2 North final)

Head coach: Roger Day (27th season, 413-174)

Captains: Brandon Hyde, Sr., P; Ryan Heber, Sr., Utl.

Other key players: Raf Tylus, Sr., 1B/P; Andrew Olszak, So., SS; Alex Taylor, Jr., 1B; Ryan Kelleher, Sr., P/OF; Richie Martino, Jr. 2B; Cris Valles, Jr., OF; Devan Allen, Fr., IF; Matt Andreas, Fr., C; Jordan DiDonatto, Fr., Utl.

Strengths: Frontline pitching. Three-year starter Brandon Hyde led the North Shore in both wins (10) and innings pitched (73) last season, and he’ll be a rock at the top of the rotation again for the Falcons. Fellow senior Raf Tylus has the stuff to give Danvers one of the stronger 1-2 punches in the area if he’s healthy. Beyond that, Danvers will need to develop depth in the rotation and bullpen.

Concerns: Run production. The Falcons lost their top 3-4 hitters in nearly every category, so they’ll need to find a way to get men on base and bring them around to score. Several young players have speed and athleticism that could help the transition offensively, and that could be a boon for Danvers as the season progresses and they gain experience.

Coach’s Outlook: “The pitching should be solid, and we know we can rely on Hyde. We’ll need to ride them at times. We have some kids that have some aggressiveness and toughness. We should play good defense. We have to find some people that can have tough at-bats and find a way to get some runs home.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 19-2 (Lost in Division 2 North quarterfinals to Tewsksbury)

Head coach: Tara Petrocelli (11th season)

Team captains: Kendall Meehan, Sr., P; Devyn Downs, Sr., 1B; Caitlin McBride, Jr., C; Brittany Dougal, Jr., SS.

Other key returnees: Tori Costa, Jr., OF; Hannah Llewellyn, So., 3B; Maddie Mucci, So., OF.

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