BERLIN- If the Stephen Decatur’s varsity baseball team had any major concerns about replacing the dominant pitching and explosive offense lost to graduation from last year’s 17-4 team, it might have got a few answers in the season opener against Crisfield on Tuesday.
The Seahawks pounded the Crabbers, 17-3, in the opener on the road on Tuesday behind a solid starting pitching performance by Josh Tyndall, who allowed one run on just three hits over five innings as the starter. Tyndall is part of a new look rotation for Decatur this spring along with Lucas Koenig and Will Lewis among others, and if the start on Tuesday is any indication, the Seahawks might pick up where they left off last year.
Decatur will feature a new look line-up all over the field this spring with a few players at key positions returning from last year’s highly successful team. For example, Brian Hudson returns at shortstop, Paul Stortini will anchor the outfield in center and Dustin Schaffer returns in right field. James Rossi also returns behind the plate and will handle the young pitching staff.
Beyond those positions, Manager Rich Ferro will fill in the gaps with a wide variety of players capable of playing several positions. Marshall Betts, who had two doubles against Crisfield on Tuesday, will play third base most of the time and Koenig will likely play first when he is not on the mound. Other infielders expected to contribute are Chris Bunting, who scored twice on Tuesday, and Troy Bennett, who drove in four runs against the Crabbers.
Pitching will be the key for Decatur this year and Ferro appears to have several options to turn to. Gone from last year’s dominating team are Dominick Favazzo, Kyle Pruitt and Max Marks, but the Seahawks appear to have several guns in their arsenal. Based on his performance in the opener, Tyndall will likely be a fixture in the rotation, as will Koenig and Lewis.
Decatur is coming off a special season during which the program reached new heights. The Seahawks won the Bayside South last year before falling to Easton in the Bayside title game. The Seahawks drew a number four seed in the state Class 2A-East region tournament and advanced to the second round before falling to Parkside, 4-3, in the region semifinals.
Decatur will play a schedule loaded with Bayside Conference opponents as usual. After the road opener on Tuesday, the Seahawks played Washington at home yesterday in a game played too late to be included in this edition. Decatur will play Cambridge-South Dorchester at home this afternoon and county rival Snow Hill at home on Monday.