Mt. Pleasant baseball team looks to build on playoff season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For the Mt. Pleasant baseball team, winning always has been a top priority, and the Vikings again have set their sights high as they begin the 2013 season.
“Here at Mt. Pleasant, section titles are an expectation,” coach Tom Hudzema said. “This is an expectation that was set 20 or 30 years ago. We also want to win a WPIAL championship at some point.”
The Vikings have 21 section titles to their credit and won a WPIAL crown in 1970. Adding to one or both of those lists won't be easy, but Hudzema believes there is a lot to like about this year's team.
“We are an athletic team,” Hudzema said. “This is the most athletic team I've had from top to bottom. In some ways, we are an older team because we have two seniors and nine juniors. But as far as game readiness we're still pretty young. A lot of players were role players on last year's team, but now they have to get used to being out there every game.”
The Vikings lost several key contributors from last year's 13-8 playoff team. Zac Heide and Shane Hertzog have graduated after forming the top of the pitching rotation. But Mt. Pleasant will be in a position to counter those losses as junior Tyler Mellors is set to be the ace of the staff.
“He will be our number one, and he's earned it,” Hudzema said. “He's poised to have a big year.”
Joining Mellors in the rotation will be some combination of senior Joey Paul, junior Dylan Ringer, sophomores Marcus Malara and Nathan Pieszak and freshman Jake Adamrovich.
Around the infield, senior Seth Wright and Adamrovich will handle the duties at first base while Mellors and Pieszak split time at second. Junior Ryan Hudec will be the starting shortstop. Juniors Luke Liprando and Brett Fess will see time at third. Doing the catching will be Mellors or Liprando.
In the outfield, Paul will play in center, and junior Mitch Matlas will be in right. Junior Tyler McElfresh and Fess will play in left.
Hudzema likes the fact that many players know and understand their role on the team.
“They are able to focus on their position rather than worry about where they are going to play,” Hudzema said. “We just have to get to work and get experience.”
The Vikings will be battling in Section 2-AAA and have managed to squeeze in a pair of exhibition games so far. Mt. Pleasant beat Latrobe and lost to Brownsville last week.
As one of two seniors on the roster, Wright is eager to see what the team is capable of accomplishing — especially after having a winning season and qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs last year.
“Right now, we just need to settle in,” Wright said. “We felt the feeling of the playoffs and we definitely want to get back there this year.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in preseason loss at Bills
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle’s faith in Polanco pays off
- Patience serves as virtue amid pitching prospect Glasnow’s quest for majors
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Architecture: Pittsburgh history in 10 houses
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- College football preview: ACC
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers