Vincentian baseball has new coach, young core
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Baseball used to be a way of life for new Vincentian baseball coach Jay Fennell. Fennell spent years coaching baseball at Baldwin and Butler as well as teaching the sport.
He helped his sons grow up with the sport, sending both to play in college and one to the Chicago White Sox organization.
With several years at the Class AAAA level on his résumé, Fennell opted to coach a Class A program.
He inherits a rather young squad, but the new coach is quick to point out that although his team may be overlooked, it won't let that effect how it approaches the season.
The team will build around junior catcher Phil Madonna, a player Fennell said is one of the smartest and best he has seen.
“Nobody manages a game better, and he will definitely play baseball after high school,” Fennell said.
Senior Jake Bartoszewicz is a team captain and third baseman who also will pitch this year.
Fellow senior Ryan McCann will be in the starting pitching rotation and be a designated hitter. Junior Greg McQueen will pitch and help out in the infield, and fellow junior Anthony Smaldino will play in the outfield.
The sophomore class is the biggest at Vincentian Academy (89 students in all), and the baseball team reflects that trend.
Nine players are sophomores, including the top two pitchers.
That class begins with Jay Cortese, the hardest thrower on the team according to Fennell.
“He has explosion in his arm,” Fennell said.
“I expect big things from him. He has power and will bat fourth for us.”
Center fielder Ryan Wolfe will bat leadoff, and Ian Taylor will help out the pitching rotation as a solid lefty option.
Alex Madonna will play shortstop, and David Morgano will factor into the mix to round out the squad.
“We are young, but the message is don't wait until next year, think this year,” Fennell said.
“Our sophomores are good enough to win now.
“There is a lot of pressure on the sophomores … we have a sophomore batting first, third and fourth. They need to play like seniors for us to win games.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- High school roundup: Zola’s no-hitter leads Seton-La Salle to win
- Southmoreland scores early, often, routs Monessen 10-1
- East Allegheny’s protracted losing streak continues
- Mt. Pleasant baseball team hopes to win with pitching
- Young Derry baseball team developing under 4th-year head coach
- Daily News roundup: Cartia leads Elizabeth Forward past Thomas Jefferson
- High school roundup: Homers highlight Canon-McMillan’s win over Bethel Park
- Chartiers Valley baseball hopes to triumph behind arms of unproven pitchers
- After rough 2014, Clairton baseball team hoping for better season
- Greensburg high school roundup: Greensburg Salem edges Mt. Pleasant
- Baldwin baseball team looking to build off last 2014 success