Winter Warm-up – Hickory

   March 27, 2013 12:38 am    0

 

Hickory Hornets
Baseball
Coach (season, record): Gary Hinkson (20th season, 270-115)
2012 overall record: 9-8
2012 region record (place): 4-6 (fourth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Kevin Pugliese, Andrew Smith, Andrew Schafer, Alex Knisley
Top returning players: Mark DiBattiste, Steven Piston, Tony Stigliano, Brooks Pletcher, Matt DelMonaco, Tommy Cannon
Assistant coaches: Dan Leali, Robert States, Mark Thompson, Ed Chess, Gary Hinkson Jr., Sean Oglesby, Kyle Piper
Outlook: Hickory went through some growing pains last season but the Hornets could be a much-improved team this year. Hickory’s first priority will be replacing Kevin Pugliese, Andrew Smith, Andrew Schafer and Alex Knisley. The four have been important to the program but they have graduated. Smith was voted to the all-region first team as an outfielder, while Pugliese was a first-team utility player. Knisley was voted to the all-region second team at third base and Kirsch was a second-team outfielder. With several big holes to fill, the Hornets will look to a strong returning group for leadership. Mark DiBattiste, Steven Piston, Tony Stigliano, Brooks Pletcher, Matt DelMonaco and Tommy Cannon are all back for Hickory. Pletcher is a second-team second baseman and DiBattiste was voted to the second team as a pitcher. DiBattiste along with Piston and Stigliano will be in the rotation, while Pletcher (second base), DelMonaco (shortstop) and Cannon (catcher) will be important returning starters. The Hornets could receive big contributions from the younger players but Hickory’s experience group will be tough to beat in Region 2.

Schedule
March
25 Saegertown L, 1-19
25 South Park L, 0-12
April
1 Rocky Grove 4
2 at Grove City 4
3 Sharon* 4
5 Sharpsville* 4
8 at Mercer* 4
10 at West Middlesex* 4
15 at Wilmington* 4
17 Commodore Perry* 4
19 Union City 4
22 at Reynolds* 4
24 at Sharon* 4
26 at Kennedy Catholic 4
29 at Sharpsville* 4
May
1 Mercer* 4
2 at Hubbard (Ohio) 4
6 West Middlesex* 4
8 Wilmington* 4
10 at Slippery Rock 4
13 at Commodore Perry* 4
15 Reynolds* 4
*Region 2 games

Softball
Coach (season): Tanya McClafferty (1st season)
2012 overall record: 12-6
2012 region record (place): 9-1 (champion)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Warren 6-2 in the District 10 Class AAA semifinals.
Top players lost: Lauren Ferreri, Alexis McBride, Emily Chess
Top returning players: Victoria Tomko, Courtney Maniscalco, Lauren Kizak, Alyssa Kostka, Morgan McBride, Madison Collier, Chelsea Marriott
Assistant coaches: Jason McClafferty, Tony Ferreri, Mike Jones
Outlook: Hickory put together a terrific season in 2012 and will look to repeat that success with a new head coach. Tanya McClafferty takes over this season and has an experienced group back to lead. Hickory returns six starters this season but will have to replace Lauren Ferreri, Alexis McBride and Emily Chess. Ferreri was voted to the all-region first team at second base, while McBride was voted to the second team at shortstop. The Hornets return several standout players, including all-region selections Victoria Tomko (outfield), Madison Collier (outfield), Chelsea Marriott (designated player) and Morgan McBride (catcher). Hickory also returns Courtney Maniscalo, Lauren Kizak and Alyssa Kostka. Hickory has a young team with plenty of depth. The Hornets have experience and a strong group of freshmen on the roster this season. Marriott and Kizak will see time on the mound, while Danielle Collier, Megan States and Hannah Gallagher are new players that could not only see playing time right away, but start. Hickory has a new challenge in the region as well. Corry moved over from the northern Class AAA region to the southern region. The Hornets also scheduled Sharon and Wilmington in the non-region schedule as Hickory should be battle-tested heading toward the postseason. If the Hornets can get back into the playoffs, they could be a surprise team.

Schedule
April
5 at Fort Mill (S.C.)
6 at Fort Mill (S.C.)
10 Hubbard (Ohio) 4
11 at Meadville* 4
13 Corry* noon
16 at Conneaut* 4
18 Grove City* 4
20 at Corry* noon
23 Slippery Rock* 4
27 Mercer 4
30 Meadville* 4
May
1 Sharon 4
7 Conneaut* 4
9 at Grove City* 4
14 at Slippery Rock* 4
16 Wilmington 4
17 at Union City 4
*Region 6 games

–Tom Reisenweber

 

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