It was a
long and winding road to the end of the season for the baseball
team. Despite a good work ethic and solid team chemistry, the Vikings
ended the season with a disappointing 14-19 record.
Still, there was much positive momentum,
according to first-year Head Coach Matt Wolski. “I didn’t
know the level of the competition we would face,” Wolski noted.
Now with a season under his belt, he expects to see his players
continue to build on the skills they developed this year. He credits
the team with strong pitching and good offense, but notes that defense
was lacking at critical times.
Wolski reports that pitchers Chris Turissi
and Rick Sutton played key roles in Viking wins, while sophomore
outfielder Dan Mattonelli was named to the All-Region team.
“I worked to implement some ideas.
Hopefully the younger guys who will be returning next year will
turn around and help teach the new players.”
With only 16 players on the roster, the team
held up as best it could, but “they were tired and worn out
by the end of the season,” Wolski said. He anticipates that
all of this year’s eligible freshmen will return to the line-up
next year and he hopes to recruit 20 to 30 new players.
These days he spends much of his time traveling
in and out of the region watching high school games. “There
are a lot of quality players out there and we hope to get some of
them. The Mercer baseball program has a good reputation, he notes.
“That tradition of success helps.”
While Wolski admits that he could be tough
on his team when necessary, sports is a great way to learn about
life. “I was not easy on them. But they may have a boss in
ten years who isn’t easy on them either.”
“It was a very educational season in
many ways,” Wolski said. “I expected them to learn from
me, but I learned from them too.”
was assisted this season by Fred Carella and MCCC alum Kevin Kearns.