Baseball: Motivated Eagles look to achieve goals
There are many ball fields the Trumbull Eagles will visit, and two that coach Phil Pacelli’s squad is hoping to reach.
“Our goals as a coaching staff are to play at Cubeta Stadium and Palmer Field every year,” said Pacelli, referring to the host site of the conference championship in Stamford and Class LL state final in Middletown. “Our players are motivated to do the same.
“We have discussed in our meetings that the little things and attention to detail is what will help us win games. I think we will be strong defensively and on the mound. The difference between winning and losing baseball games is getting the timely hits and executing when it comes to situational hitting.
“I think we have unselfish kids who will not try to do too much in those situations. We are looking to have a better approach at the plate and put the ball in play and cut down on the strikeouts in those situations.”
The Eagles went 13-7 in the regular season a year ago.
Ben Fero’s no-hitter in FCIAC tourney play wasn’t enough, as the Eagles suffered a 1-0 setback to Darien. Southington eliminated Trumbull in the first round of states, also in a 1-0 nail biter.
Fero (Stonybrook) and Jay Chiappetta (AIC) are starting pitchers who graduated and leave big shoes to fill.
“We return several position players that now have a year of varsity at bats under their belts,” Pacelli said.
Captains are catcher Kevin Bruggeman (All FCIAC first team, will play at Hofstra), shortstop Chris Brown (All FCIAC first team, will play at UConn) and right handed pitcher Ryan Gomes (All FCIAC West, will play at Roger Williams).
Infielders include Brian Hance, Ben Micinilio, Dante Digirolamo, Brandon Buda and Ryan Teixeira.
Outfielders are Devin DiCocco, Tim Lojko, Chris Briganti, Luke Masiuk and Ray Leonzi.
Robert Goldsmith will serve as backup catcher and will compete for at bats as designated hitter.
Gomes returns as Trumbull’s most experienced pitcher.
Other starting pitchers with varsity experience are Ryan Vawter and Justin Nyarady.
Relief pitchers include Greg Kaufmann, Brown, Masiuk, Micinilio and Teixeira.
As the Eagles try to earn their way to Cubeta and Palmer, they will face some challenging competition.
“I like to schedule tough non-league games to prepare us for the very tough FCIAC schedule. Our non-league games are against some really great programs,” Pacelli said, referring to Masuk of Monroe, Bunnell of Stratford, Fairfield Prep and defending state LL champions Cheshire).
It all gets started Saturday, when the Eagles visit Masuk at noon.
Trumbull plays Prep in the home opener, April 1, starting at 4.
FCIAC foe Ridgefield is the defending LL runner-up. Darien is the defending FCIAC champ and Staples of Westport reached last year’s conference title game. St. Joseph is a state finalist.
“Our coaching staff is looking forward to every game and every practice. I think our team is ready to work and I think we will be fun to watch,” Pacelli said.