Share This Page

Like Rome, Ringgold won't be built quickly

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Ringgold High School pitchers, Justin Rich and Mike Cramer talk to the new baseball head coach Mike Sikorski. On March 26,2013.

As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn't built in a day.”

And Mike Sikorski wants Ringgold fans to know that the Rams' baseball team won't be either.

Sikorski is starting his first year as coach of the Rams, and while he has a number of seniors he is counting on this season, the team as a whole is short on experience.

“We have a big rebuilding year ahead of us; there is no mistaking that,” said Sikorski. “We lost a lot of key players from last year.”

And last year the Rams only went 3-14 in the final season under former coach Lou Pasquale.

The one bright spot going into the season for Sikorski and Ringgold is a veteran pitching staff that returns four players with experience.

Senior lefthanders Mike Cramer and Justin Rich were both starters a year ago, and junior righthanders Nick Maciejewski and Devin Fallenstein also saw pitching duty as sophomores.

“Mike will be our No. 1 and Rich will be the No. 2,” Sikorski said. “That is pretty much set. The other two have potential and talent to do well, but they don't have as much experience.”

Ringgold's starting lineup is not completely set as the poor weather has kept the Rams from getting outside much.

So far, Sikorski has four players who started all or part of last season.

The returnees are seniors Billy Morris in right field and Jeff Toth on third base and sophomores Alec Varley at shortstop and Connor Maciejewski behind the plate.

“Varley was pretty much a utility player last year and played several positions, but he will be our shortstop this season,” said Sikorski.

Other starters will be senior Matt Varos at second and either Travis Yost, Matt Devenney or Chris O'Brien at first, Fallenstein in center and either Yost or junior Noah Brown in left.

“We're still trying to put things together,” Sikorski said. “I think our strength is that we do have several seniors to rely on. The problem is that our weakness is definitely a lack of overall experience.

“It's going to take a lot of hard work for us to be successful. The kids are going to want to have to learn. So far, things have gone pretty good. But we haven't been on the field yet.”

Ringgold is scheduled to play its first game Thursday at Yough, a non-section contest.

The Rams will compete in Section 4 AAA along with 2012 WPIAL finalist Belle Vernon Area, Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin, Carrick and South Park.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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.