St. Bede’s list of experienced varsity baseball players is as simple as 1-2 — senior Michael Bellino and junior Jack Brady.
They will be the two veterans coach John Bellino turns to for direction on the diamond this spring. Bellino’s 14-man squad includes four freshmen with a cast of two sophomores, five juniors and three seniors, only one of who played last year.
“We’re taking the best athletes we can and seeing what we can do with them,” said John Bellino, whose team dropped Monday’s opener at Rockridge.
The Bruins’ inexperience has been compounded by the absence of sophomore Jarret Olsen, who will be out of action with mono, Bellino said.
Senior Ethan Duttlinger, who did not play last year, joins a list of potential hurlers, including Michael Bellino and Brady, plus juniors George Leynaud, Matt Szczepaniak and freshmen Brady Booker.
Junior Sam Halm returns to the diamond at catcher, having missed last year with a broken thumb. Duttlinger and Leynaud will share time at first, with Brady at second, Szczepaniak and freshmen Nick Plankenhorn at short and Michael Bellino manning the hot corner.
Rounding out the squad are senior Abram Yucus, junior Gabe Braboy, sophomore Nathan Bartley and freshmen Jon Dose and Braidy Shipp
“Hopefully, we can start eliminating errors. We’re just so young, errors in the field are going to hurt us,” Coach Bellino said. “We’re going to make mistakes out there and that doesn’t lend well to a young pitching. When you have a young pitching staff, if you can make up for it on defense it makes a huge difference.”
The defending regional champion, John Bellino said his team’s goal is always to make a run at regional.
“We want to get everything kind of set by that time and hopefully get the pitching staff straightened, play a little defense and hit the ball,” he said.
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