B y Derek Liebig

It’s all about the small things for this year’s Granville baseball team.Baseball Team

Head baseball coach Duane Dodge said the team has the potential to win some games, but it needs to execute the fundamentals.

“In order to be successful we are going to need to be good at the small game. We can’t get in slug fests with teams. We need to be strong on defense and limit mistakes,” Dodge said.

The team features a large and balanced roster. Fifteen kids will see time on the varsity level; six are seniors, three are juniors and the remaining members are all sophomores.

“Jake Young, Josh Sumner and Ronnie Taylor are team captains and will be relied on heavily for their leadership,” Dodge said.

Taylor will be the team’s starting catcher while Young will see time at first and second base. Sumner enters the season as the team’s ace and will play on the corners (first and third base) when not pitching.

“He’s our innings eater. I expect him to throw 80 to 90 pitches every time he’s out there,” Dodge said.

He and fellow senior James Andrus will lead what is a talented, but unproven pitching staff.

Junior Zack Vanderminden and sophomores Matt Fuller, Trace Bourn, Bailey Daigle and Jarrett Ettori will be asked the make transition from junior varsity to varsity.

“We have a lot of guys that can throw, but they’re young. The sophomores will be limited to 60 to 70 pitches,” Dodge said.

The development of those arms has been stunted by the weather, which until recently had forced the team to hold practices indoors.

“You can’t build arm strength and you can’t track fly balls inside. It makes the process more difficult, but every school is in the same place,” Dodge said.

Offensively what the team lacks in power it makes up for in skills.

“We have some guys that make good contact, but we’re going to have to bunt and run and play small ball,” Dodge said.

Dodge said the Wasaren League looks balanced, but he doesn’t see a dominant team. He says Stillwater, Greenwich, and Hoosick Falls should be good and Hoosic Valley has one of the best pitchers in the state in John Rooney, but Granville is catching up.

“We have the ability to be good. We just need to work to get there. It’s going to take commitment and a strong work ethic, but these kids can do it. They are a great group of guys,” Dodge said.

Granville opened its season earlier this week as the team hosted the annual Ken Burch Memorial Tournament. It opens league play on Tuesday against Greenwich. First pitch is at 4:15 p.m.

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