New Rochelle, NY - After a very successful offseason of recruiting, Dirtbags General Managers Jeff Sosis and Greg Valvano, as well as manager Alan Sosis, are eager to get their team out on the field in search of a WRWBL Championship in 2014. The team was able to bring back many of the young players from last year and added 10 new faces to help make a deep run into the playoffs.
Coming back for his second season at first base is Jesus Jaile. A 3 year captain of the Mercy Maverick's baseball team, Jaile led the 'Bags with 98 at bats last year and hit .268 with 11 rbi's. Jesus' power bat will be a major factor in the lineup this season, and the team will be looking for his leadership abilities to guide the younger players through the season.
Spending time between second, third, and short will be newcomer Mat Marino. Marino is a former Mamaroneck HS standout who recently finished his freshman season at Skidmore College. As the Thoroughbred's leadoff hitter, Marino led the team with a .347 average and 35 hits. The managers feel very fortunate to have the speedy, versatile Marino who they expect to have an immediate impact.
Returning at shortstop for his sophomore season is Brett Poniros. Brett is an exceptional athlete who has gold glove potential and the ability to change the game with his speed on the basepaths. As the starting shortstop at Franklin & Marshall this past Spring, Brett hit .325 and stolen 15 bases without being thrown out. He collected 39 hits with 5 doubles and a triple and looks to continue that success into the summer season.
Playing both corner infield spots will be newcomer Louis Miceli. Miceli was the star for New Rochelle HS's #2 seeded team this year and is a Southern New Hampshire recruit as an infielder. The team will rely on his soft hands at third base and his power bat in the lineup to drive in key runs for the 'Bags. Louis will also see time on the mound as he was the staff ace for NRHS this season.
Also getting some time at second base will be Jeff Sosis. Sosis had a breakout year in 2013, leading the team with 30 hits and batting .309 to earn his first All Star nod. Sosis will work to continue that success and get on base for the big bats in the lineup to drive him in.
The Dirtbags have plenty of depth in the outfield, as they have kept many key pieces from last year and added some impact bats over the offseason.
One of the top recruits the team is excited about is Brandon Docimo. As the starting left fielder for Southern Connecticut State, Docimo completed his junior season batting .260 with 33 hits, including 3 doubles, 2 triples, and a home run. Coming off an injury, this was Docimo's first year as an outfielder after spending his first two years at school playing third. Expect to see Brandon in both left and third this summer while batting in the top half of the lineup.
Another one of the team's top offseason acquisitions was Iona College outfielder Kyle DiVico. In his first year with the Gaels, DiVico saw action in 33 games and collected 20 hits. DiVico's line drive bat will also be used towards the top of the lineup for the Dirtbags in 2014. He'll split time between all 3 outfield positions.
Coming back to the team is 2013 Team MVP and All Star Jake McGrath. The Manhattanville Valiant led the Dirtbags with a .330 average last year and was placed on the WRWBL All Rookie Team. McGrath led the team with 7 doubles and 16 runs scored. With his keen eye at the plate and knack for getting on base, look for Jake to spark the lineup at the top of the order once again in 2014.
Returning to the team for his second season with the bags is Rye native Jake Meyerson. The University of Rochester student athlete finished strong for the 'Bags in 2013, ending the season at .260 with 5 doubles, a triple, and a home run. Meyerson is capable of making game changing plays in the outfield and with his tremendous arm will see time in both center field and right this summer.
Greg Valvano returns to the Dirtbags after a strong 2013 campaign. His mix of speed and athleticism in the outfield is a huge asset to the team and the team expects him to see time in both left and center field this summer. The team looks for Greg to be aggressive on the base paths and continue to develop his gap to gap hitting to get on and score runs.
Speedy outfielder Tom O'Neill also comes back in 2014. O'Nell caught fire towards the end of last summer, finishing 6 for his last 11 and ending the season at .353. On of the fastest players in the WRWBL, the former Oneonta Red Dragon All American sprinter looks to be a sparkplug for the 'Bags once again this year.
After an offseason in 2013 to recover from Tommy John surgery, the Dirtbags are extremely excited to bring back two time All Star Anthony Muccio to the team. Mooch is a lifetime .360 hitter for the 'Bags and in his last year in 2012 hit .358 with 29 hits, including 9 doubles and a home run. He also led the team with 19 walks. Look for Muccio to spend some time at DH and left field this summer as his power bat will be looked upon to lead the 'Bags to their first playoff appearance in 2014.
Leading the Dirtbag rotation this year will once again be John Bivas. A 2013 All Star, the Adelphi University lefthander led the team with 45.2 innings pitched last summer with 49 strikeouts. Bivas is a fierce competitor on the mound and he will set the tone for the 'Bags pitching staff this season.
Rob Ambrosino begins his third season as a Dirtbag and will see time as a starting pitcher. Ambrosino is a valuable part of the rotation who is capable of going deep into games. He threw 38.2 innings last season with 29 punchouts.
One of the top pitching recruits of the offseason was left hander Alec Brown. Brown features a fastball in the upper 80's and the team expects him to be a major contributor in the starting rotation this summer.
Another addition to the team over the Winter was Mount Kisco native Tom Baroni. In 2012, Barino led Bates with 63.2 IP and a 2.12 ERA. The left hander has impeccable command and will see time as a starting pitcher for the 'Bags this season. Tom is expected to enter Pace University Law School later this year and join the Setters team for his final college season.
Andrew Zigmont was second in the league last Summer with 19 appearances on the mound. Zigmont had a 4.38 ERA with 26 K's in 30.1 innings. Andrew will continue to see time out of the bullpen for the 'Bags as well as make some appearances in the starting rotation.
Hard throwing right hander Doug Dulin comes back for his third year with the 'Bags. The former College of Saint Rose ace seemed to get stronger as the year went on in 2013, finishing with a complete game and 17 K's in 33 innings pitched. In his rookie season in 2011, Dulin was the top arm on the staff when he had a 3.60 ERA with 36 K's. Look for Dulin to make a big impact on the mound this summer seeing time both in relief as well as making appearances as a starter.
The 'Bags added another left hander, University of Delware's Connor Rush. Rush was a part of the club team at Delaware that won the 2014 North Atlantic Regional Championship. Look for Rush to see time out of the bullpen in his first season with the team.
Another power right hander who will see time out of the pen is Oswego's Max Meyerson. Meyerson is recovering from an offseason arm injury and will be brought on as the season progresses. But with his tall, powerful frame, the team is eager to get him back out on the mound to shut out the opposition late in games.
Ryan Fedak returns as the closer for the Dirtbag once again in 2014. Fedak bounced back last year to earn his second All Star nod. The 2011 Team MVP led the team with a 1.72 ERA in 24.1 innings as the closer. The team is fortunate to have the reliable sidewinder to close our games once again for them this season.
Nick Cutsumpas returns to the team after completing his senior season at Tufts University. Nick is a two time WRWBL gold glove winner as well as a two time All Star. He hit .264 last summer with 8 doubles and 14 rbi's. Cutsumpas has incredible leadership abilities in the clubhouse and works hard with the pitching staff to get the most out their ability. Look for Nick to once again be a huge part of the team's success this year.
Another catcher the team added this offseason is former Mamaroneck HS standout Ryan Orgielewicz. The Johns Hopkins University freshman saw extensive time in his first year with the Blue Jays. The team is going to look for his solid glove and power bat to drive in runs for them in his first year with the team. Ryan will see most of his time behind the dish but will also play some first base for the 'Bags.
White Plains HS starting catcher Keith Bivas also joins the team in 2014. Bivas is a very strong defensive player who will be looked upon to get on base and score runs for the team this year. Bivas is versatile as well, capable of playing the infield as well and could also see some time on the mound.
After working hard during the offseason, Sosis believes the squad he and Valvano have put together is the most well balanced since the team's inception in 2010. With a mix of speed, power, strong defense, and both power/control arms from both sides, the Dirtbags will be focused on making the playoffs and winning their first WRWBL Championship in 2014. Please come out and support the team as they open up the season this Sunday, May 25th at Manhattanville College in a 10 am doubleheader with the New York City Thunderdogs!