Winter Warm-up – Hickory

   March 23, 2012 11:25 am

 

Hickory Hornets
Baseball
Coach (season, record): Gary Hinkson (19th season, 261-109)
2011 overall record: 9-6
2011 region record (place): 7-3 (co-champion)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Union City 12-4 and lost to Titusville 11-9 in the District 10 Class AA playoffs.
Top players lost: Nick DiBartolomeo, Tyler Gargano, Reese Swatsworth, Jon Korpon
Top returning players: Andrew Schafer, Kevin Pugliese, Alex Kirsch
Assistant coaches: Dan Leali, Robert States, Mark Thompson, Lukas Gurrera, Gary Hinkson Jr.
Outlook: Hickory has been a perennial contender in recent history but the Hornets may go through a rebuilding year this season. Hickory lost Nick DiBartolomeo, Tyler Gargano, Reese Swatsworth and Jon Korpon to graduation. DiBartolomeo is competing for Youngstown State, while Swatsworth is at Grove City. The Hornets took a huge hit in their lineup and starting rotation and will need several underclassmen to step up. Andrew Schafer, Kevin Pugliese and Alex Kirsch return this spring to lead the way. Schafer, a senior, is moving to catcher, while Pugliese will move around from second base to shortstop and outfield. Kirsch can be a big-time player in the outfield and leader of the offense. The Hornets have the pitching this season behind juniors Steven Piston and Mark DiBattiste, but Hickory is young and inexperienced in most areas. There should be stiff competition in camp for the starting lineup and rotation spots.

Schedule
March
23 Saegertown (in S.C.) TBA
24 South Park (in S.C.) TBA
29 Franklin 4
31 North East 11 a.m.
April
2 Grove City 4
9 at West Middlesex 4
13 Sharpsville* 4
16 at Mercer* 4
17 Kennedy Catholic 4
20 Wilmington* 4
23 at Jamestown 4
25 Sharon* 4
26 at Reynolds* 4
May
2 at Sharpsville* 4
3 Mercer* 4
7 at General McLane 4
9 at Wilmington* 4
11 at Sharon* 4
14 Rocky Grove 4
16 Reynolds* 4
*Region games

Softball
Coach: Tony Rock
2011 overall record: 14-4
2011 region record (place): 10-0 (champion)
2011 playoff results: Lost to Fort LeBoeuf 10-0 in the District 10 playoffs.
Top player lost: Elizabeth Palumbo
Top returning players: Lauren Ferreri, Alexis McBride, Emily Chess, Morgan McBride, Madison Collier
Assistant coaches: John Vellente, Ed Chess, Mark Woods, Taylor McClafferty
Outlook: Hickory could be one of the teams to beat this season with nearly everyone back from last year’s team. The Hornettes are coming off their first region championship since 1999 and have plenty of experience. Hickory lost Elizabeth Palumbo to graduation, but Lauren Ferreri, Alexis McBride, Emily Chess, Morgan McBride and Madison Collier are back. Ferreri was an all-district second baseman that hit .518 last spring, while Chess was the region pitcher of the year and a first-team first baseman. McBride and Collier were both named to the all-region second team. Hickory could receive contributions from pitcher/first baseman Megan Chess and infielder Chelsey Marriott this season as they transition to varsity. Class AAA is always a brutal class to win a District 10 championship in but with the experience the Hornettes gained last spring, they could be in the mix for the D-10 title.

Schedule
March
26 Union City 4
27 at Mercer 4
29 Wilmington 4
April
2 at Fort Mill (S.C.) 5:30
9 at Sharon 4
12 Jamestown* 4
14 at Franklin* 11 a.m.
17 at Titusville 4
19 Meadville* 4
21 at Brookfield (Ohio) 11 a.m.
23 Commodore Perry 4
24 Slippery Rock* 4
26 at Grove City* 4
May
1 at Jamestown* 4
2 Franklin* 4
8 at Meadville* 4
10 at Slippery Rock* 4
15 Grove City* 4
18 at Wilmington 4
*Region games

— Tom Reisenweber

 

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