The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

Season preview: Blue Devil baseball

Courtesy of Boys Baseball Team
Baseball team meets at the mound

On Tuesday, the Bellwood-Antis baseball team will open its season at home with the tough challenge of Hollidaysburg. The game was postponed from Monday due to inclement weather.

The Blue Devils’ goal of being the best sports team in the school has fueled them to work harder than ever. With aspirations to show everyone what they’re capable of, they hope to get directly into the swing of things. 

The work began in the offseason. Since September, lifts and indoor practices have been available for all players. This is a new change because normal workouts for them usually wouldn’t start until December. Workouts focused on not only improving the player’s strength, but also just functional movements that players face in everyday events. 

Along with some recent coaching changes, junior Star Shortstop Matt Berkowitz is loving the new style of training. “Offseason workouts have been beneficial to the team by having us more prepared and conditioned for the upcoming season. Coach Plummer has implemented more drills, and has improved our team’s chemistry as a whole,” said Matt. 

Senior first baseman Zach Pier is excited by the outlook for this season.

“We got a special group this year. We’re strong in hitting, pitching, fielding, and pretty much everything,” Zach said. “We’ll continue to put in the work regardless of a win or loss. The wins will come,” said Zach.

While working towards success, the Devils plan to make the District playoffs for the first time in three years. 

Joining a new conference means facing new competition. Toughest opponents include recent state champs of Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte. The last time the Blue Devils faced Bald Eagle was back during the 2017-2018 season, when Bellwood won 6-4.

Assistant Coach Tom Partner has the same goals as years past for the upcoming season.

The competition obviously has changed since joining the LHAC, but our goals to compete at a high level and make a push towards D-6 AA playoffs remain the same, ” said Coach Partner.

While the competition may be fierce, the Blue Devils aren’t backing down. This year, the team is led by five seniors, including Pier, Connor Cobaugh, Vincent Cacciotti, Josh Dorminy, and Chris Walls. Veteran players are nothing new to this team. These players gained vital experience last year when there was only a single senior player, so the leadership without a doubt is there. 

Coach Partner also has no doubts in this team’s ability.

We have 8 starters returning from last season. I’m anxious to see the returning players take the next step in their abilities, but also how they respond to being leaders,” he said.  “We will have a mixture of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman all in the starting lineup, so the upperclassmen leadership will be vital in shaping the younger student-athletes.”

Freshman Alex McCartney is one young player starting to fit in well with the guys.

“I like this team. We work well together. They have shown me how to do new drills and outfield pranks,” said Alex.

This year Alex plans to start right field, as well as get into the pitching rotation. Currently, Alex is throwing off the mound at 85, which is a solid number for any pitcher at the high school level. Gaining varsity experience at any point is important if you strive to become a better player, but when underclassmen have the opportunity early on, their skills will only grow more through their career.

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