Last year’s record: 18-7 (Lost in Division 3 North semifinal)
Head coach:: Kevin Canty (3rd season, 30-19)
Captains: Nick Bona, Sr., SS; Eric Razney, Sr., OF; Tommy Parsons, Sr., P.
Other key players: James Dellisola, Sr., 1B/P; Will Vegneron, Sr., 1B/P; Matt Renzulli, Jr., OF; Jhon Oliveira, Jr., OF; Robbie Carillo, Jr., OF: Mike Campitelli, Jr., C; J.T. Reiling, So., C; Matt Hale, Jr., P; Jake Barsey, Jr., DH/CI.
Strengths: Team speed and outfield depth. The Crusaders have their leading base stealer and CCL MVP Bona back, and guys like Carillo, Renzulli and centerfielder Razney must all be watched closely on the basepaths.
Concerns: Pitching depth. Parsons is the only full-time returning starting pitcher, and senior arms like Dellisola and Vigneron will be called on for bigger roles and more innings. Look for youngsters Reiling and Hale to pick up innings, and Carillo will augment the rotation after having success in spot starts last season.
Coach’s Outlook: “We’re excited. We have a good nucleus and some guys that want to prove that they can play. We’ll definitely have to run with all the power hitting we lost. Our goal is to win the league, make the tournament and do some damage; that doesn’t change. With the offense we have, if our pitching comes together we can get there.”
Last year’s record: 11-12
Head coach:: Paul Lyman (13th season)
Captains: Gianna Pizzano, Sr., 3B; Jen Crovo, Sr., 2B.
Key Returnees: Chandler Wilder, Sr., CF; Natalie Moore, Sr., P; Charlotte Powers, Sr., 1B; Bridget Corcoran, Sr., SS; Gabby Hart, Jr., C; Jenny Nasser, Jr., RF.
Strengths: The key for the Crusaders is their defense. The entire infield is back, a year older and wiser, and Gabby Hart returns behind the plate as another strong defender. Also, many of the players have had successful postseasons with their fall and winter teams, and Lyman is looking for the experience to carry through to the spring season.