Pitchers, hitters look strong for Jeannette senior Legion team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
As he discussed his roster just days before there start of the season, there was a sense of optimism in the voice of Jules Ponterio, manager of the Jeannette senior American Legion baseball team.
“This is probably the strongest pitching staff that we've had here in the four years that I've been here,” he said. “And we have some guys who can hit.”
Sounds like a winning formula for a team riding the momentum of a District 31 playoff appearance last year.
The strength of the team will be on the mound, said Ponterio. And the pitching staff is more than just talented, it's deep.
Ponterio called righties Rob Duffy and Nick Spangler his “workhorses” and will look to them as his top two starters.
Lefty Jake Laing gives Jeannette a southpaw who can start and be used in matchup situations out of the bullpen.
Right hander Joe Hoffner gives Ponterio another starting option, while Jonathan Shabe, Brendan Pratt and Dillon Sabo will be used primarily as relievers.
“It's nice having that many arms,” said Ponterio. “Having that depth is important when you play 20 games in 35 days.”
Behind the plate, Andrew Giesey and Tyler Peyman will split time. Peyman will also play first, sharing time with Duffy.
Adam Shorthouse is the starter at second base and Zack Altieri is the primary shortstop. Tyler Sciarrino and Hoffner will also see time in the middle infield.
When they're not pitching, Spangler and Duffy will man third base.
Hoffner starts in left, Sabo in center and Laing in right. Jared Burch, Shabe and Pratt are also in the outfield mix.
“Our guys have a lot of versatility, so we have the ability to mix-and-match,” said Ponterio.
The lineup should be another strength, added the manager.
“The top kids in our lineup, Altieri and Sabo, are two of the fastest kids in the league,” said Ponterio. “We'll be stealing a lot of bases.”
Those two speedsters are followed by Jeannette's thumpers, Dufy, Spangler and Hoffner.
“Those guys have power and can drive in runs,” said Ponterio.
While he is enthusiastic about the club's makeup, Ponterio is tempering that excitement.
“We all know, that just because things look good on paper … you have to go out and do it on the field,” he said.
The goal is more than merely improving on last year's 8-9 regular season.
“Our goals haven't changed,” he said. “Our goal is to win the championship.”
Ponterio pegged Latrobe, Unity, East Hempfield and West Hempfield as the teams to beat in District 31.
“There's no easy game on the schedule,” he added.
Jeannette was scheduled to open the campaign against Greensburg yesterday but results were not available as of press team.
The team will host Yough on Monday and visit Latrobe on May 27.
Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.
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.
- Year’s worth of rain floods Qatar
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Online sales, promotions give Pittsburgh-area stores global reach
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers own tradition with ‘Waltz’
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Edge Sports Academy will be offseason training option for baseball, softball players