Andrew Connolly Contributing Writers
Baseball season is around the corner, and it’s a good time to get to know the team and their expectations for the upcoming season. Jorge Hernandez, the Director of Athletics at Bergen gave me some of his insight on the team.
Hernandez is confident in the pitching the team has and expects the unit to be deep and one of the key components of the team. The rotation has a few guys topping out at around 90 mph, so there is no shortage of velocity in the pitching staff.
Although the team did lose their starting catcher, it is expected that last year’s backup at the position sophomore Gerald Sandavol will come in and fill the void left at the catcher position. With the team having two other catchers behind Sandavol, there will be competition for the backup spot so the team doesn’t have to overwork their Sandoval behind the plate.
All pitchers need a good defense behind them, and the Bulldogs have tried to fortify their defense with the acquisition of shortstop Michael Casaleggio from Manhattanville college, who’s known for his stellar defense.
The team is looking to fill the voids left at center field and first base, with starters from last year moving on to “bigger and better” things in the words of Hernandez. It should be interesting to see who fills those spots.
With Bergen debuting their new field this coming season, it will only benefit the team’s defense by playing on a clean surface. Avoiding those bad hops that can always come back to kill you in tight games.
The hitting on this team isn’t lacking either. Returning sophomores Gregory Dominguez, Brayan Viller, and Jason Romeno give the team big bats in the middle of the lineup. The team expects big things on the field and in the box.
Jason Romeno worked his way up to 3rd in the batting order in his freshman season a year ago. Hernandez sees him as the top player on the team as of now, but is confident in the talent of the team and wouldn’t be surprised if that changed at some point during the year.
The team looks good, but there is no shortage of competition for them. Hernandez sees the Garden State Athletic Conference being very level in terms of talent across all the teams. The conference seems to always have a team picked to play in the national tournament involving the community college’s around the country.
Every year the team takes a trip to Myrtle Beach to play some games and to build chemistry. As a former player, Hernandez understands the benefit this has and it expects it to help the team build chemistry and get themselves off to a good start when they get back home.