Sports

Yorktown Baseball has High Hopes

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Jake Bichler is the starting shortstop for Yorktown.
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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Last year Yorktown’s baseball squad enjoyed another successful season, earning a 13-8 record and as the No.7 seed, qualified for the Section 1 Class AA playoffs, where it lost to visiting No. 10 Clarkstown South 4-2 in the opening round.

With the talent the Huskers have returning this season, Yorktown is in position to do just as well if not better this spring.

“Every year we have a team goal to win our league and compete for a section title,” said Yorktown coach Sean Kennedy, who is in his 15th year as Huskers’ head coach and 23rd overall with the program. “I think individually we hope to instill an appreciation for the game and to have our players recognize that hard work pays off.”

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Leading the Huskers this season are captains Jake Bichler (shortstop/pitcher), Tommy Cole (center field), Tanner Dyslin (first base) and Joe Veca (third base/pitcher), with Veca playing the sport next year at Shenandoah University.

“All are seniors who have been on the varsity for three years,” said Kennedy, whose assistant coach is Sal Gallinelli. “All have experience, strong leadership skills and great work ethics.”

Other key returning players include Matt Pupczyk, a third-year senior pitcher who will throw the horsehide at Oneonta next season.

“He has won a lot of big games for us,” Kennedy said. “We are hoping he becomes our ace. Nick Farda is a junior catcher who played well defensively for us last year. We are hoping he takes a bigger role offensively this year.”

Yorktown also has some key newcomers that Kennedy will rely on, including junior Tyler McDonnell (2B/P), who Kennedy hopes becomes one of the anchors of the staff.

Junior pitcher Alby Ciuffetelli has worked exceptionally hard in the off-season and should be one of Yorktown’s top pitchers, Kennedy said. Junior outfielder Nick Maratos and sophomore catcher Liam Biberaj are two other key newcomers the Huskers will rely on this spring.

“Our team has a good mix of youth and experience,” Kennedy said. “We have some key guys at important positions that have been through a lot of battles. I think we are strong up the middle and that is always important.”

Yorktown begins the season at home at 4:30 p.m. today, against Suffern.

“We have a challenging schedule but are hoping that it will prepare us for league and sectional play,” Kennedy said. “I think I spend more time focusing on our team playing fundamentally sound and playing hard. If we do that the wins will come.”

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