High School Baseball Preview: Monroe County Division IV

Casey Saucke II (8). (Photo: PAUL GOTHAM)

Monroe County Baseball gets into full swing this week. Here is the breakdown of Division IV with pre-season capsules for Batavia, Eastridge, Greece Athena, Honeoye Falls-Lima and Pittsford Sutherland:

BATAVIA BLUE DEVILS (Class B)

2019 finish: 13-7, won Class B1 championship

Coach: James Patric (first year at Batavia)

Top returners: Alex Hale (Sr. P/SS – Niagara County Community College commit, 2019 Class B1 sectional tournament MVP)

Top newcomers: Vincent Grazioplene (Jr. C), Jesse Reinhart (Jr. CF/SS), Luke Rogers (Sr. P/2B), Bannon Moore (Sr. OF)

First game: Wednesday, May 5 at Dwyer Stadium against Le Roy

Outlook: With Hale being the only returning player from the 2019 championship team, Batavia is very inexperienced. Will the newcomers continue on the program’s winning tradition?

EASTRIDGE LANCERS (Class A)

2019 finish: 14-9, lost to Pittsford Sutherland in Class A2 finals

Coach: Chris Taylor (first year)

Top returners: Keenan Calenzo (Sr. IF – Second Team All-County in 2019, hit .351), Chad Perkins (Sr. P/IF – 5-foot-8)

Top newcomers: Evan Vinci (Jr. P/IF – 6-foot), Evan Brown (Jr. C – 6-foot-2), Noah Bowens (Sr. P/IF/OF – 6-foot-2), Tom Bareham (Jr. P/IF – 5-foot-10), P.J. Cutaia (Jr. OF/P – 5-foot-8)

First game: Saturday, May 1 against Gates-Chili

Outlook: Eastridge lost eight senior starters last year and now has a junior-laden lineup. With two shots at it, can this new core build toward a sectional title?

GREECE ATHENA TROJANS (Class A)

2019 finish: 20-3, lost 3-0 to Canandaigua in Class A championship game

Coach: Jason Bunting (341-201/24th season)

Top returners: Casey Saucke (Sr. SS/P – hit .413 with five doubles, three triples, a home run and 18 RBI in 2019, University of Virginia commit), Vic Alongi (Sr. P/3B)

Top newcomers: TJ Kurtz (Jr. P/1B/3B – 5-foot-7, 170 lbs.), Jaden Madrid (P/2B/SS – 5-foot-6, 145 lbs.), Donovan Wallace (OF – 6-foot, 175 lbs.)

First game: Tuesday, May 4 against Honeoye Falls-Lima at Greece Olympia

Outlook: Saucke is back for one final run with the Trojans and leads a relatively inexperienced team. Can Greece Athena get over the final hurdle and capture Class A gold?

HONEOYE FALLS-LIMA COUGARS (Class A)

2019 finish: Lost in Class A2 semifinals

Coach: Dan Hoyt (10th year)

Top returners: Brian Reinke (Sr. P/1B – University of Richmond commit), Reece Joint (Sr. SS/P), Xavier Carbonel (Jr. 3B/P), Mason Wanzenried (Sr. 2B/P)

Top newcomers: Carson Joint (So. C/OF), Nolan Smith (So. 1B/OF)

First game: Tuesday, May 4 against Greece Athena

Outlook: The Cougars are an experienced team playing its first season on a new turf field. Does Honeoye Falls-Lima have enough pieces to make a run through Class A?

PITTSFORD SUTHERLAND KNIGHTS (Class A)

2019 finish: 15-9, won Class A2 title

Coach: Brandon DeRosa (42-28/fifth year)

Top returners: Keeghan Cummings (Sr. – First Team All-County in 2019, hit .420 with 34 hits, 26 runs and was a perfect 18-for-18 on stolen bases), Nick Provenzale (Sr. – First Team All-County in 2019, batted .338 with 16 RBI and six steals, went 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA on the mound), Jack Zawacki (Jr. – .343 average in 2019, had a .425 OBP and 19 RBI)

Top newcomers: Ethan Hurwitz (Sr. INF – 5-foot-11, 195 lbs. Oberlin College commit), Scotty Thyroff (Sr. INF – 5-foot-11, 180 lbs.), Jake Fekete (Jr. INF – 5-foot-10, 165 lbs.), Joe Groark (Sr. OF – 5-foot-9, 160 lbs.)

First game: Monday, May 3 at 4:45 PM at Eastridge

Outlook: The reigning Class A2 champions, Pittsford Sutherland will lean on its three returners. Can Cummings, Provenzale and Zawacki help the Knights to a second consecutive title?

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