Sports

Former Olean Oilers Peterson and Phillips Prepare for Regular Season After First Spring Training

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Aaron Phillips (left) with the Olean Oilers (file photo) Credits: Richard Lee
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Cole Peterson at the plate with the Olean Oilers (file photo) Credits: Richard Lee
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Former Olean Oilers Aaron Phillips and Cole Peterson hope to take their play to the next level in the upcoming season baseball season. 

The two athletes, both former St. Bonaventure University baseball players, are wrapping up their first spring training seasons as professional  ballplayers. 

Peterson, a shortstop, got his chance to suit up in Major League camp with the Detroit Tigers. Through four games, he has five at-bats and one walk. 

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“Expectations for this upcoming season would be to learn from my first minor league season and bring what I learned to this year," Peterson said. "To improve my game both offensively and defensively more because you can always work on both no matter how perfect you think you have it down. I still have a lot to improve on with my game to become the ballplayer I want to become even more.”

Both players worked on parts of their game in the offseason to prepare for spring training. 

“This offseason I really focused on consistency with my mechanics," said Phillips, a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants organization. "Often in big situations when your body is tired, that is what gives you the advantage.”

“(You) can always work and improve on things," added Peterson. "Repetition of hitting and fielding is what I worked on a lot, as well as doing weight training presented by the Tigers organization.”

Phillips said he worked on developing his sinker and change-up during the off-season.

"Adding new weapons is always a plus and if I can continue to develop those pitches throughout 2018 it would help,” he said. 

Both players spent their first seasons in professional baseball in 2017. Phillips finished his season with a 3-0 record and a 4.45 ERA in 14 games for the Salem-Kiser Volcanos . Peterson hit .246 with 16 RBIs in 55 games with the Connecticut Tigers. 

Both players will look to continue their paths through the minors when the season starts on April 5. 

“I hope to accomplish having a successful season like last year and build on top of that this year and improve my game to an even higher level I had in my first season,” said Peterson. 

“With it being my first full professional season, it's really tough to have a ton of expectations," Phillips said. "I'd say basically just to stay healthy and put myself in the best position to advance through the organization.”

“I hope to accomplish having a successful season like last year and build on top of that this year and improve my game to an even higher level I had in my first season,” said Peterson. 

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