Dawn of the spring sports season is upon us, and the Mt. Greylock baseball team is eager to get their season started. Head coach Steve Messina’s squad finished 15-7 in 2014, losing to the Drury Blue Devils in the quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament. After a disappointing finish, the senior-laden Mounties are more than poised to make a deep playoff run in 2015. With skilled players scattered across the starting lineup, the Mounties will again be one of the most talented teams in Berkshire County and perhaps all of Western Massachusetts. Their schedule, as usual, is strong. Difficult county opponents, Taconic, Pittsfield, and Monument should prove to be good tests for the Mounties. Additionally, Pioneer Valley opponent West Springfield, who the Mounties lost to last year, will make the trip up to Williamstown for round two on April 10th.
Pitching will be the most important factor for the Mounties this year. Returning number one starter and Dickinson College commit, Ian Brink looks to avoid the Mt. Greylock senior pitcher curse and thrive for a third consecutive season on the mound. “We especially need pitchers to stay healthy [this year],” noted Brink. Behind Brink is junior Brodie Altiere, who lives off his heated fastball. Third in the rotation will most likely be returning senior starter, Eli Holland. Additionally, junior Josh Jezouit will step up this year and look to provide the Mounties with some much needed depth in the rotation. Relief pitcher, Adam Hall, who returns as a junior this year, had a good sophomore season, but looks to have even more success on the mound in 2015. “[Adam] is the player who can give us an unexpected spark this year; he’s our X-factor. Adam is one of our great young pitchers. He was great out of the bullpen last year, but I expect even more out of him this year than last year,” said Brink.
The rest of the defense should be solid for Mt. Greylock. Manning the outfield will be a rotation of seniors, Eric Hirsch, Delaney Pudvar, Mikey Strizzi, and Jesse DiLego. Senior infielders Jake Benzinger and Dan Flynn along with senior catcher Andrew Rickus round out the Mounties on the defensive side.
“We need to be consistent throughout the season. We can’t take any games lightly,” noted Brink when asked about keys to a successful season.
For the majority of the Mounties, this is each of their final seasons of high school baseball as well as high school athletics. For Brink, who is winless in four attempts at a Western Massachusetts championship in two sports, it would mean everything to win one in his final season. “Winning a Western Mass. title this year would be the icing on the cake, considering I have lost 4 title game matchups combined in soccer and baseball. Leaving high school athletics with at least one championship would mean a lot to me.”
Brink and the rest of the Mounties squad are poised to make a deep run in the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament. This year is as good as ever to dominate the competition on their way to the promise land.