The Boys Of Summer Are Back In Town: Wreckers Varsity Baseball Team Aims For A Ring

 

The 2012 season was generally considered successful for the Staples Wreckers, as they finished with a 16-8 record. However, a disappointing 1-0 FCIAC semifinals loss to Trumbull in 10 innings at Harbor Yard will be the lasting impression from the Spring of 2012. This team remembers that game.

“This senior class still has a bad taste in our mouths from losing to Trumbull,” said second baseman Matty Campbell ’13. “Putting Staples back in its rightful place at the top of the FCIAC is all any of us have thought about.”

The team — which has won three out of the last five FCIAC championships — is returning with five starters from last year. Additionally, there will either be a senior or a returning starter at every position this season.

“One of the more exciting things about our team is our outfield,” said third baseman Eli Andrew ’13. “After losing all three of our starters last year, the new outfielders combine to be one of the best outfields in the FCIAC.”

The Wreckers outfield this season consists of Ithaca College-bound Alex Ludel ’13, Washington University in St. Louis-bound Matt Smith ’13 and converted catcher, Princeton-bound football player James Frusciante ’13.

The praise for the new outfield doesn’t stop there.

“Ludel, Frusciante and Smith have the range and cannons out there to be probably the best outfield in the FCIAC,” Campbell said.

Smith is particularly excited to see what his outfield can do.

“Alex Ludel could be a breakout player because he uses his legs to his advantage, whether its by bunting or making phenomenal plays in the outfield,” Smith said. “I just want to have a strong senior season. My personal stats aren’t important as long I can help my team raise the trophy come May.”

While Smith praises Ludel, he gets his fair share of compliments from his teammates.

“Matt is going to have a terrific year. He had a tremendous summer and has one of the best arms in the FCIAC. If he gets in a groove, he’s very hard to strike out,” said Trinity College-bound pitcher Chris Speer ’13.

As far as the infield goes, the Wreckers are returning three starters—Andrew at third base, Sam Ellinwood ’14 at shortstop and Bryan Terzian ’13 at first base. Campbell is the newcomer at second base along with Doug Bonenfant ’13, who will compete with Adam Dulsky ’14 to take over for Frusciante behind the plate.

Ellinwood had a very solid season as a sophomore last year, and members of the team said they expect big things out of  him again this year.

“I’m excited to play up the middle with him,” Campbell said. “He gets better every time I see him play.”

Terzian, who’s had an impressive career with the Wreckers thus far, said he has confidence in himself and in his team.

“This year, I believe we have the opportunity and talent to be one of the best Staples baseball teams ever and bring home a championship,” Terzian said. “We have no weaknesses.”

Finally, the pitching staff will be key for the Wreckers this spring as they return the left-handed Speer as well as Franklin and Marshall-bound righty Greg Salamone ’13.

“We definitely have a strong rotation with Greg and I returning from last year as well as a few really strong seniors and juniors who will be competing for spots,” Speer said. Some of the other pitchers who should have an impact include Ryder Chasin ’14, Justin Gallanty ’14, Jarrett Goodness ’13, Eric Lombardo ’13 and Robby Valone ’14.

While there is a lot of depth in the rotation and in the bullpen this year, Speer and Salamone will most likely be numbers one and two in the rotation. They hope to improve upon solid junior seasons.

“I’m just looking to help my team anyway I can,” said Salamone, who was the primary reliever last season but figures to be in the rotation this year. “I’m not sure what my role will be; that’s up to Coach McFarland. He knows what he’s doing.”

The Wreckers’ expectation this year is simply nothing short of an FCIAC championship.

“I’m not just speaking for myself when I say not returning to Harbor Yard to play for a FCIAC championship is not an option for anyone on this team,” Campbell said. “Any support through game attendance that we can get this season would be appreciated.”

Andrew agreed: “I think that everyone on our team is doing everything they can so that come May, we’re back at Harbor Yard playing for an FCIAC championship,” he said.

Salamone has full confidence in his team’s chances to win it all this year, as long as they stay focused.

“As long as we can keep our play level up, our swag high and our sense of brotherhood strong, I think we’ll get our ring.”