HUNTINGTON STATION, New York, Mar. 26
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
For the Wildcats of Walt Whitman High School’s baseball team, spring hasn’t just sprung into warmer weather – it’s sprung them onto the baseball field for the first time in 2015.
After a hectic winter with lingering snow kept most spring teams locked up in gyms instead of out on the fields, Head Coach Steve Greco said his Wildcats were eager to finally get out onto the diamond in a competitive atmosphere. Whitman traveled to Central Islip on Tuesday for its first scrimmage of the spring season.
“We’ve been hitting a lot indoors and it’s looked good so far – hopefully that’ll translate well out on the field,” Greco, fifth-year head coach, said. “We [had] a little glimpse today and we’ll go from there.”
This year, the Wildcats are focusing on the experience of their returning players, like Josh Gerson – who Greco said is Whitman’s no. 1 pitcher heading into league play. Gerson, who also plays third base, is a junior who pitched a no-hitter against cross-town rival Northport a season ago, Greco said.
“I think it’s big to have a lot of guys come back,” he said. “Especially at the plate where there’s such a big difference between junior varsity pitching and varsity pitching.”
Speaking of hitting, elsewhere Whitman returns a trio of solid hitters – each hit over .300 last year – in third baseman Joe DiPiero, second baseman Josh Shapiro and outfielder Sean McEntee. All three are returning in 2015 as seniors, with Shapiro and McEntee taking on captain duties alongside senior Blaise Davi.
“I think we’ll be a team that strings together singles and doubles, pitches well and plays good defense,” Greco said while mentioning the speed his outfielders possess.
But while experience is a focus for Greco and the Wildcats, Jared Restmeyer – a freshman shortstop – has also peaked his interest.
“He’s one of the first freshmen I’ve ever had up on varsity,” Greco said, “and we’re excited to see how he does.”
Greco might get a chance on Saturday as Whitman is expected to open its 2015 League III season.
Julian Kleberg, returning as a pitcher in his senior year, is expected to get the ball for the Wildcats on the mound as they take on Bay Shore. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bay Shore High School.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander
(Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015; A38)