When asked to comment on his return to the Seacoast Mavericks, Dennis Torres (UMass-Amherst) responded, “Glad to be back, but more importantly back to take care of unfinished business.”
It’s hard to argue with him considering dismal 10-33 season turned in last year by an organization that struggled to produce clutch runs. Many of the Mavericks returning players feel they have something to prove to the rest of the league, particularly given the 22 loses by three runs or less.
Torres posted a solid 3.15 ERA and tied for fifth in the league with 39 K’s
In addition to Torres, Donnie Hissa (University of Notre Dame) is scheduled to return to the Bert George mound for a second season. Although he would be quick to stress the “win as a team, lose as a team philosophy” he is one that had his record impacted by the team’s inability to score runs.
Hissa led the league with 60 strikeouts and finished the year with a 2.82 ERA, good for sixth best in the league.
Guys with those numbers are undeserving of a combined 1-8 record at any level. Having both on the 2012 roster should give first-year coach Tim Bonehill some early season confidence.
With both returning, June cannot come soon enough.
Return to the mound?
Cole Tobin (NYACK) will always sport a scar on his right elbow, courtesy of Tommy John surgery that limited him to spot duty at first base and designated hitter last season. But early reports indicate Tobin has been throwing anticipating a return to the mound for the 2012 season.
Providing his rehabilitation continues in positive fashion, Tobin will be relied on as an added arm for Bonehill. If all else fails, he could provide depth off the bench at first and at the plate.
In his last 10 appearances, Tobin had hits in eight of them including three two-hit games and two home runs, raising his average nearly 100 points.
Behind the Plate
Zac Fernandes (University of Southern Maine) and newcomer Dionys Quezada (Merrimack College) are expected to earn a share of the catching duties. Fernandes has reported his hamstring issue, which limited him to seven collegiate at bats and sidelined him for all of the FCBL season, is all but forgotten.
Fernandes, who maintained presence around the team despite not playing, reportedly had a solid fall ball season at USM and continues to work out in anticipation of game action.
Quezada spent last summer playing in the North Shore Baseball League for the North Andover Titans and returned to school this fall for his freshman season. He is expected to receive ample playing time for the Warriors and should be ready for his Seacoast debut this summer.
If all pans out, both catchers will have some experience to fall back on with former Seacoast Mavericks catcher Chris Tuttle, a senior at Misericordia, in talks to assist Bonehill on the bench. Tuttle, the most complete of the three Seacoast catchers last season, graduates this spring and is ineligible for further FCBL play.
He caught Torres’ commanding 6-2 win over Martha’s Vineyard on June 23rd and Hissa’s six-inning, twelve strikeout no-decision against Torrington on July 28th. The Mavericks eventually prevailed with a 1-0 victory in that game.
Tuttle finished the season with a .239 average, good for fourth on the team amongst regulars.
On the business end
Tuck Bats, Masters Self Defense, and People’s Bank have all stepped up and signed sponsorship agreements, and numerous other organizations have given verbal commitments to support the team as we enter our sophomore season.
Tuck Bats, used by many Mavericks last season, most notably returning infielder Casey Cotter, has agreed to provide bats for raffles. Last season, the team had great success with team signed bats and we look to continue the trend.
People’s United Bank has agreed to sponsor our bat boys and girls in addition to providing magnet schedules that will be handed out to those in attendance on opening night. Details on how your child can become a bat person for a game during the season will be announced as the season approaches.
Master Self Defense Centers of Seacoast New Hampshire is also on board for this season. They are located in Rye and are offering a great deal for new members - $29.95 for the first month including a uniform. Masters is scheduled to perform a between inning demonstration this season.
As always, please support our generous partners as they do their part to make the Seacoast Mavericks possible.