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North baseball left swinging and missing by nature’s curveball

As the calendar turns to early April, North’s spring sports teams begin a long season ahead.  Unfortunately, mother nature has followed her own itinerary, leaving piles of snow tossed across grass fields as North baseball players prepare to return to the diamond.

“We haven’t been on our field yet because winter doesn’t seem like it wants to go away,” varsity baseball coach Michael Santoro said,  “so we have utilized every part of the inside facilities including the main gym, auxiliary gym, wrestling room, parking lot, and even the pool.” The team used the pool for various drills, including base running and conditioning drills. “It’s been tough training,” senior catcher Adam Gostomski said.

The baseball team is one of the many sports programs to use the weight room for organized workouts, both during the spring and in the offseason.  “Kids are expected to come in the first day the same way they would be in the middle of the season—ready to compete and in baseball shape,” Santoro said.

Behind stellar first baseman Sid Kumar, the North baseball team hopes to improve on its 12-9 record from 2014, and catch up to crosstown rivals South, who emerged as county champions last season. The Knights defeated South in a scrimmage despite the lack of practice time: “That was the first time we played as a team on a field, so it was nice to know we can win without having a full practice on the field,” senior Brandon Kocher said.

Having graduated six seniors in 2014, the baseball coaching staff hopes to use preseason as an evaluation period and determine a new starting lineup and pitching rotation for the upcoming season.  “We only have two returning pitchers to varsity, and they have minimal experience at this level,” Santoro said.  “Evaluating is not always the easiest thing to do when you can’t get on your field and watch them just play the game.  We need to put them in game situations where we can really see the players’ instincts.”

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