BOLTON LANDING - Remarkable depth in pitching and substantial overall experience are expected to take the Bolton varsity baseball team far this year.
In 2007, the team won the southern division of the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, but last year, the team didn't meet its goals posting a 3-8 overall record.
Coach Mark Andrejkovics said this week the 2009 team, with seven returning starters and no less than six talented pitchers, should be able to reclaim the glory of two years ago.
"With the number of quality arms we have, the staff will have to compete to get the ball in their hands," he said.
Led by three seniors, Ben Gaddy, Brian Vilmar and Sam Gabriels, the 2009 Bolton pitching staff has versatility, speed and the depth that will allow them to keep their competitors off-balance.
With the conference's new schedule of playing three games per week, this pitching depth will allow Bolton to put a talented, fresh arm into play whenever they need it, Andrejkovics said.
"This is the most quality pitchers I have ever had in a season, and I am very excited to see the year unfold."
Smart fielding is always a priority with Andrejkovics, and with the talented players returning for 2009, defense should remain strong, he said.
An all-senior outfield will lead this year's defense with Ben Gaddy taking charge in center field, flanked by Donny Sammis and Michael Pratt. Casey Russ, the vocal leader of the team, will again be behind the plate and he should provide key leadership, the coach said.
Developing strong offense, however, remains an objective, considering that last year's squad struggled to put the ball into play, Andrejkovics said.
"The kids have been smacking the ball around in the cage, so I am confident we will get things turned around this season," Andrejkovics said.