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Suburban Council baseball preview

With so many positions up for grabs, Mravlja said there will be a lot of competition for playing time, which he hopes will make his young players better in a short period of time.

"We don't have one or two standouts. We have a big group of good players who will push each other," he said.

Shenendehowa Plainsmen

Head coach: Jim Carrese

Key veterans: Morgan Smith (pitcher), Dave Goerold (pitcher/second base), Tim Jones (catcher), Crockett Pack (shortstop)

Key newcomer: Bryan Marotta (outfielder)

Outlook: The Plainsmen are in another reloading phase after graduating several players from last year's Sectional runner-up team.

"I'm really looking forward to working with these kids," said Carrese. "They are a fun group to work with " very coachable."

Having Smith and Goerold back in the pitching rotation should help Shen. Smith " who has already committed to pitching at SUNY Binghamton next year " and Goerold both can throw fastballs above 80 m.p.h., and Goerold has some effective off-speed pitches he can rely on.

"(Having two veteran pitchers is) the key to the whole thing because in all of Section II, a lot of the top pitchers have graduated," said Carrese. "You can only name five or six quality pitchers who are back."

Gold Division

Ballston Spa Scotties

Head coach: Dave Sunkes

Key veterans: Zach Hartman (pitcher/first base), Kyle Baldani (catcher/pitcher), Kevin Baldani (shortstop/pitcher), Tim Spadaro (centerfielder), Jim Tino (third base/pitcher), Ryan Ostrander (leftfielder), Josh Flint (utility), Nick Croce (second base)

Key newcomers: none

Outlook: Several Suburban Council coaches are already touting Hartman as the toughest pitcher in the league, but if the Scotties are going to move up the standings, they'll need their other veteran hurlers to step up.

"Jimmy Tino has done really well. He's worked really hard in the off-season," said Sunkes. "Both Baldanis have worked hard as well in the weight room."

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