It may be worth your while to grab a DHS baseball roster this year if you want to try to figure out Coach Barney Earle’s daily lineups.

Now entering his 16th year as the Dragons’ head coach, Earle selected 15 players during last week’s try-outs who he hopes will get the program back on track after a 9-11 overall record in 2007, that did include tying Scituate for the Keenan Division title of the Patriot League.

It may be worth your while to grab a DHS baseball roster this year if you want to try to figure out Coach Barney Earle’s daily lineups.

Now entering his 16th year as the Dragons’ head coach, Earle selected 15 players during last week’s try-outs who he hopes will get the program back on track after a 9-11 overall record in 2007, that did include tying Scituate for the Keenan Division title of the Patriot League.

While Earle will have to deal with the loss of captains John Keating and Grant Bowen, along with the departure of Tim Connolly from his 2007 team, he does face a very pleasant situation in that his roster is loaded with players who can play numerous positions.

“This is one of the most athletic teams I have ever coached here,” said Earle. “It’s made up of a lot of different kids with different talents that could make it very interesting this year.”

 

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Brett Bartlett
Rich Sciretta and Brett Bartlett will lead the 2008 Dragons, and will be joined by classmates John Fasciani and Nick Dow. Seven juniors, three sophomores, and promising freshman Phil Sciretta will complement the foursome.{sidebar id=4}

 

Sciretta will be returning for his third season as a starter and probably has the most experience of any player on the team in terms of his involvement in AAU baseball and showcases around the country.

“Rich is a very athletic kid and a good leader,” said Earle. “He knows how to play this game and I think he is due for a break-out year. This could be it.”

Sciretta is projected to start at first, and could very well be sent over to third should his brother Phil display the kind of bat that will force Earle to insert the rookie in the lineup.{sidebar id=1}

Second base is the classic case of musical chairs, and Earle has five candidates that can play the position: Junior Tyler Genereux, sophomore Matt Savard, junior Liam Bevins, junior Sean Cross, and Bartlett.

Genereux brings athleticism to the position with his strong arm, which also makes him an excellent candidate for some extensive work on the mound after an outstanding sophomore season as a JV pitcher.

Savard could be the best of the lot according to the Duxbury coach, as the sophomore is a solid defender and swings a good bat.

“Matt is a strong kid with good size. He improved a lot last year playing on the JV team, as he has put a lot of time into his game and come back with a lot of confidence,” said Earle.

Bartlett and Cross could see action on the right side as well, but both players have shown that their talent is good enough to move over and play shortstop.

“Sean saw some time at second last year,” said the Duxbury coach. “He’s solid defensively, but struggled a little last year with his hitting. He seems to be swinging the bat better this year and I think you’ll see him over at short most of the time.”

Bevins has also shown in the preseason he can be counted on for some solid defense.

The Dragons return two starters from last year’s outfield, both of who have the potential to be league all-stars in their junior seasons.

Shane Dibona (CF) and Jack Garrity (RF) showed last year that they have the tools offensively and defensively to be prime-time players. Both can run, track balls in the outfield, throw out runners, and hit with power. Dibona hit five home runs last season, including a memorable blast in Marshfield, and Garrity also went deep on several occasions.

“Jack has a very strong arm and I feel more comfy with him in right, while Shane’s speed let’s him track down everything in center,” said Earle.

Sophomore Pat McWilliams has the skills that give him a good shot of grabbing the left-field opening, while Phil Sciretta will also get a serious shot in the outfield.

“Phil knows what he is doing out there and doesn’t have a freshman physique,” stated Earle. “I have the feeling I’m going to have to get his bat in the lineup where ever I can.”

 

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John Fasciani
Senior John Fasciani will also put up a good fight to crack the outfield, but the team’s #2 pitcher is coming back from shoulder surgery and may have to ease his way back into the lineup, while junior Connor Anderson may also see some time in the outfield where he has shown a strong arm.

 

Pitching and defense can make or break a season, and Earle feels he has the numbers that could propel his Dragons to a title.

While no one pitcher on the staff can be considered dominant, Bartlett showed in 2007 that he could get the job done without a lot of fanfare.

“Brett showed us last year he has a pretty good fastball and overhand curve ball,” said Earle. “He doesn’t waste any time out there and works quickly and throw strikes.”

Fasciani is penciled in as the #2 man on the mound, but Earle knows the senior needs to be handled with kid gloves in the early going.

“He probably won’t be able to go more then three or four innings at the start. He’s going to need some rest between appearances and he needs to be diligent about taking care of his shoulder. When John is healthy, he throws the ball hard and has an effective 12-6 curveball with a herky-jerky motion that may have contributed to his injury.”

Sciretta could land the #3 slot with his ability to eat up innings and keep his team in the game. But if Earle needs to go any deeper on his roster for pitching help he is not the least bit worried with Genereux, McWilliams, or Anderson coming off solid years as JV pitchers.

One player who has the potential to blossom this season is sophomore pitcher Jeff Blout.

Blout dominated at the freshman level last year and was moved up to the JV team where a lack of run support did little to help his record. His strong arm makes him an outside shot to play the outfield as well.

Junior Colin Woods will most likely get the nod to fill the shoes of departed catcher Grant Bowen (Carleton College) after doing a nice job at the JV level last year.

“Colin can run the show,” said Earle. “His defense has improved and he is swinging the bat much better.”

Senior Nick Dow, who has shown to be a solid defensive catcher in the preseason, will challenge Woods for the spot.

Earle sees a wide-open race in the Patriot League and thinks he has the horses to make a run at the crown.

“We have pitching depth on our staff, but after our #3 starter it’s a matter of a lack of experience. On offense we may not have as much speed as we did last year with Keating and Connolly, but kids like Dibona can really run. We just need to put some runs on the board to give our pitchers some support and we’ll be fine”

The Dragons will open their season next Wednesday afternoon when they take on Weymouth at the new and improved Chandler Field at 3:45.{sidebar id=6}