WILLIAMSTOWN --Experience can be a valuable trait on the baseball diamond.
That is one thing this year's version of the Mount Greylock baseball team will have plenty of.
"We have a lot of nice kids coming back. A lot of good kids with good experience," coach Steve Messina said. "It's not only good for this year's team, but it's good for the younger guys and the future of the program."
Reigning All-Transcript MVP Andrew Leitch and fellow seniors Sean Houston and Eric Leitch will be looked upon to lead the charge. Andrew Leitch returns to the team as the ace and cleanup hitter. He compiled an 8-1 record on the mound last year with an ERA under 2, all while hitting .354 and driving in 26 runs.
Houston will anchor the outfield for the fourth-straight season and should return as the team's leadoff man. He reached base at a clip of .525 last season. Eric Leitch will be the team's everyday shortstop. He split time at third last season, but should remain at short for most of this year. He'll also be right in the middle of the Mounties' lineup once again.
With all the depth the Mounties feature at pitcher, Eric Leitch's trips to the mound could be few and far between. Andrew will be the team's horse. Also returning to the roster are pitchers Robby Buffis, Ben Coleman, Ian Brink, and Frank Rickus.
"You always need two or three quality starters and a couple of solid guys out of the bullpen that can eat up some innings," Messina said. "I think we're pretty excited about what we have."
Handling the pitching staff with be junior Nick DiSanti. DiSanti enters his third season as the varsity catcher and will be looking to build off that experience.
He hit .403 last season and drove in 17 runs.
"He's a really tough kid and he's really learning how to call games," Messina said. "He's very solid back there and we're fortunate to have that experience. It really takes some of the pressure off the pitching staff and defense."
Senior Eddie Dufur will look to assume the second base position left vacant after Billy Pulasky graduated. Ben Alley will take over at first base and Derek Romejko should see a prominent role in the outfield. All three are returners. Andrew Leitch and Ian Brink will most likely split time at third base, depending on who is pitching.
While Messina is excited about the experience his key players bring to the table, new comers will add to his squad's depth.
"Two that kind of pop out right away are Jack Thistle and Tyler Picard," Messina said.
Thistle is a transfer from Pittsfield and Messina is excited about what he has seen from the junior early on. Picard returns to the baseball diamond after a few seasons away. The All-Transcript boys' basketball MVP should see some time on the pitchers' mound.
"He has surprisingly good mechanics for a kid who hasn't pitched in a while," Messina said.
Also adding to the team's depth will be Nick Bolognia who could spell DiSanti from behind the plate on occasion. Liam Collins and Ryan Wadsworth will also play key roles this season.