At some point in their career, Little League baseball players will hear the phrase, “It’s the little things that matter.” For the Plattsburgh State Cardinals, it is those “little things” that they will focus on this offseason.
Unfortunately, this season did not turn out like the Cardinals would have hoped, but they have by no means given up. Collectively, the team is seeking fixes to their mistakes, something that will ultimately get them back to winning.
One of the silver linings that can be seen from this season was the dominance displayed by junior pitcher Scott Orr. Orr had a winning record of 5-3, as well as a respectable 2.94 ERA. The southpaw was also able to endure a span of 20 days without giving up a run to opponents. This streak helped the ace receive recognition from his conference by receiving the SUNYAC Pitcher of the Week.
Not only did Orr make a name for himself in the highly competitive SUNYAC conference, but also he received a high level of respect from his teammates, especially his fellow pitcher, senior Mike Vargues.
“He did an incredible job on the mound for us this year,” Vargues said. “I think that he really proved himself this year and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.”
However, Orr is not the only prominent player, when it comes to the future of the Cards’ program. Sophomore TJ Montalbano developed into a big-time asset this season, batting .336 and providing 22 RBIs for PSUC. With nine seniors leaving after this season, the team has expresses the importance of finding leadership in the underclassmen. Except for Montalbano, all of the players who were named to All-SUNYAC teams are departing seniors.
The 2016 PSUC squad will look to replace the slugging presence of catcher, Frank Buksa, who batted a monstrous .353 this season.
“When I had my meeting with the coaches, they told me that we need the sophomores and juniors to step up,” Orr said. “It’s just a matter of finding the right people to fill that leadership role.”
Although the naming of captains does not happen until next fall, it is essential that the Cards find leaders during this offseason. Whether it is in the form of captains or role players who can lead by example, leadership will prove to be helpful for the team. With the likes of Montalbano and Scott Orr, the team’s future looks to be in good hands.
At the end of the day, baseball is a game that is all about having short-term memory. You make mistakes and you learn from them, but at the same time you never let those mistakes haunt you. Right now, the Cards are making an effort to fix their problems as quick as they can, by taking it one day at a time. Head coach Kris Doorey, who will be entering his 15th season next year, offered advice when it comes to the baseball diamond.
“The best thing about baseball is that you get to keep playing.” Doorey said.
So for now, that’s exactly what the Cards will do — just keep playing.
Email Kevin Morley at firstname.lastname@example.org