Hatters to rely on experience, pitching
niuele@montgomerynews. com ost teams that lost its fiUsW IRuU hitters in the lineup and two great pitchers a year after reaching WKH sWDWH sHPLfinDOs ZRuOG panic. Hatboro-Horsham and coach Pete Moore are not the panicky type.
It is no secret that this is a different Hatters team than last season. wach Crim and Casey O’Donnell threw some great games en route WR WKH sWDWH sHPLfinDOs DnG bats like Chris Hens, Conor Crookham and Casey Saverio will be greatly missed. However, you’ll have to excuse the Hatters if they seem cool and collected heading into 2013.
“Last year’s senior class
Mwas the most talented that I have coached in my tenure as the head coach at Hatboro-Horsham. They were very gifted players and played with a passion that led to our success,” Moore said. “They have laid the foundation for what our program can do moving forward. Their pride in their performance has been passed down to this group of players. These guys saw the work ethic that is necessary to succeed at a high level and win championships.”
One of H-H’s greatest assets heading into the spring is experience. Although the Hatters lost many starters, a few remain and they will be key to any success the Hatters have this season. Ryan helly, drant Opalisky
and wach Prendergast are all returning starters and will make an impact both in the lineup and on the mound. Prendergast, who threw a no-hitter least season, and Opalisky were both Carpenter Cup players a year ago and senior helly was very productive as junior.
“The experience that they gained last year is invaluable,” Moore said. “I have seen them taking leadership roles this year and pushing guys to work up to their potential. Ryan helly has stepped up as a vocal leader for us and someone who other guys listen to.”
That being said, the younger players who learned from a great squad last year are a year older and wiser. Brad Humski, who came up big in certain pinch-hitting situations in 2012, will be the starting second baseman and hit at the top of the order this season. The junior showed a great deal of heart last season and is primed for a very successful season.
“Humski is a coach’s dream with his work ethic, leadership and willingness to do whatever makes the team better,” Moore said. “On top of that, he is a very talented player. bric Lane is D WDOHnWHG yRunJ RuWfiHOGHr with great bat speed at the plate. He plays a solid left fiHOG DnG cDn sZLnJ LW vHry well.”
bven with missing two top starting pitchers, 0RRrH Ls vHry cRnfiGHnW in a talented, deep pitching corps. The Hatters will once again look to the upperclassmen to get outs and eat up innings. Pitching was a major strength and essential for a deep post-season run last season. Pitching does, after all, win championships.
“Tyler Markovic and John Hlywiak return to give added experience to the staff. Markovic was a guy we turned to last year to get key outs for us on multiple occasions,” Moore sDLG. “TKLs yHDr KH ZLOO fiOO a bigger role throwing more innings. Hlywiak also will see more innings and should be successful in his second season at the varsity level. Junior David Brown is making his varsity debut this year and has looked strong on the mound in the early going.”
Although there is optimism in Hatters Land, the production that has left the team is glaring. Moore is well aware that there are KROHs WR fiOO, EuW DOsR IHHOs he has enough talent on the roster to make another run at a state title.
“Our pitching depth and WKH WDOHnW RI Rur LnfiHOGers will give us a chance to compete for the SOL Continental Championship. The guys are very cRnfiGHnW EDsHG Rn WKH run that we had in the playoffs last year,” Moore said. “What we learned last year, was that playing your best baseball at the end of the year is one of the key factors in being able to make the post-season run that we made last year. We will work harder to get better every day.”
Returning pitcher Zach Prendergast will be a key player is Hatboro Horsham is to remain among the elite teams in the state this spring.