Veteran Foran team looks to return to states

Foran baseball will be led by Trey Deitelbaum, Kyle Zarnoch and Dean Ross.

Foran baseball will be led by Trey Deitelbaum, Kyle Zarnoch and Dean Ross.

Foran High Athletics / Contributed photo

Foran baseball coach Garrett Walker is counting on veteran players and a seasoned pitching staff this season.

“We return every inning pitched back from last year. We will also get heavy inning loads from Zack Worzel (junior), Brandon Payne, (sophomore), Charlie Diamantis (senior) as well as Brian Massey (senior). All but Worzel are righthanders,” Walker said, whose Lions went 6-12 a year ago.

“We are experienced. We have a nice mix. We have versatility so we can move guys around and not lose much. Offensively is where we need to pick up the slack with the graduation of Michael Simonelli (Sacred Heart University). That leaves a lot of hits, lost RBIs and runs scored. Guys are finding their niche.”

Trey Deitelbaum, Kyle Zarnoch and Dean Ross are captains

“Trey will be a primary starter for us and bat in the middle of the lineup. He can also see time in the DH role and play in the outfield,” Walker said. “Kyle is our returning starter at catcher. Kyle and Trey were both second team All-SWC last year. Kyle is a workhorse back there. Dean is a returning starter at shortstop and will anchor our infield.

“Brandon Payne, Kyle and Joe Gaetano (middle of the order) have thump in their bats. Trey can hit for power. We are going to based more on quality at bats, getting guys in scoring position. We won’t sit back and wait for that three-run homer. We have pretty, good speed across the lineup.”

The bulk of infielders will be decided by that day’s starting pitcher.

Walker said: “All the pitchers in the lineup hit and can play the field. Depending on who is pitching, Worzel and Braden Tarczali will be at first, junior Jack D’Avignon or junior Conlan Deschaine will anchor us at second. Based on pitching at third will be Brian Massey, who played their most of last year. With his increased pitching role, he will split time with Deschaine.”

The outfield also offers options.

“Trey will platoon in left field with Brandon Payne. Senior Brayden Young will play center. Junior Joe Gaetano is in right. We have two other guys who can see time in the outfield, sophomore Gavin Kaminski and junior Joe Cichowski.

“We won’t see a traditional DH unless it is to get an extra bat in the lineup for someone who is struggling. I feel all our guys out there are capable varsity hitters. It will be who has the hot hand to get the nine best guys on the field in the moment. Charlie Diamantis can do more than pitch. He could find some time in the outfield as well as being a pinch runner. He is going to be Mr. Everything for us.”

Walker is looking to recapture postseason magic.

“We’ve had some good tournament runs of late. Obviously, the state championship (2017) and a quarterfinal trip (lost to eventual champion Berlin in 2019). Hopefully we can replicate that and be back where we like to be,” Walker said. “We want to get into league and state playoffs then make a run.

“I think our kids are ready. We have a lot of multi-sport athletes. Guys are coming off the basketball court, some from the wrestling mat. We’re in shape. It’s New England, the preseason is short. We will hit our stride after a week or two of games and find what are team dynamic is going to be.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354