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Baseball: Torrington has high hopes

POSTED April 07, 2011
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

                                        Baseball: Torrington has high hopes

             TORRINGTON – It always revolves around pitching, doesn’t it?

            The Torrington High Red Raiders open up their season today against Naugatuck with a veteran lineup that offers a lot of promise. Yet, the success of the season may very well hinge on the one player who is not there – pitcher Pat Austin.

            Austin is out indefinitely with a knee problem (torn meniscus) and therein lays the biggest question mark to the Raiders season.

            ‘The key is trying to replace the seven wins from Austin last year,” veteran coach Gerry Carbone said.

            The mound duties will fall to senior Joe Mateo, Nate Katz and Dustyn Marfyak.

            “Mateo is tough, the other two are unknown,” Carbone said. “Both need to step up. With Pat I thought we could compete for the top of the league.”

            Carbone is not dismissing that thought but knows that now the challenge gets tougher. He needs the pitching to step up but also knows that some help from the offense will make that task easier.

            ‘We have to score runs and we have three or four kids that can really hit,” Carbone said.

            Mateo, who will play third base when not on the hill, is one of those kids along with center fielder Wellington Sosa and Bryan Failla.

            Around the infield, Don Carazza will handle first base, Austin Patenaude will be at second, Failla at shortstop and Mateo at third base. Garrett Perusse will be behind the plate.

            Look for Katz to be in right field, Sosa will patrol center and Eric Rinald in left field. In a league that Carbone uses the word parity to describe it is a good lineup if things fall into place.

            “Our outfield is very good, all of them played last year and we are very strong up the middle,” Carbone said. “ We are very strong up the middle and we have good team speed. We have a lot of guys back from a year ago.

            The Raiders losses from last season’s 14-9 club include Manny Baez (2B), Alex Marconi (C), Mike Tedesco (1B) and Mike LaFrance (OF-P).   

            The NVL looks to be pretty balanced this season with no super club but many solid teams. Holy Cross, Wilby and Wolcott are three of the teams with the potential for solid seasons. It may all boil down to the day.

            “It’s going to come down to weekly pitching matchups,” predicted Carbone.

            If the Raiders can hold their own until Austin returns in the second half of the season, they very well could be one of the teams around the top as the season winds down.  

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