By Luke Mich
Even though the team doesn’t start play until springtime, students may have noticed that the baseball field was being used for games and practices over the last month and a half.
For some, it’s a chance to maintain or earn a starting role on the team; for others, it’s the opportunity to make the team.
During this time, in a span of four weeks beginning in late September, the whole roster practiced, trained, and competed among each other.
Fall ball is done every season and is essential for the team, stated Coach Mick Janosko.
“It’s a tryout for all players. It’s critical to see the ability and improvement of the players, [both those] returning and new players,” he said.
Janosko also stated that fall ball helps the coaching staff see the “strengths and weaknesses of the team and players.”
The team practiced every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon for four weeks, with an additional practice on the weekend.
They also had weight training three times a week lasting 45 minutes each session, which was led by assistant coach and strength conditioner Adam Dukate.
To provide for the competitive nature of baseball, two or three games were played each weekend between inner squads. There were four squads overall: green, gold, silver, and black.
Besides playing inner squad games, the team altogether got to play against other competition, including a game against local community college CCAC Boyce on September 21. “[The game gave us the] opportunity to see how we do against competition,” Janosko stated.
The following weekend, Saint Vincent alumni played with the current squad in the annual alumni game, which turned out to be very successful. About 25 former players competed against the current team, an annual tradition that has been done the last 17 or 18 years, Janosko stated.
Zach Glasso, a former player himself, reached out to other former players through Facebook to come down for an annual golf outing with about 60 participants, followed by the baseball game that weekend.
“I’ve always felt that having all these past players come back to get together makes a huge impact on the current players,” Glasso said. “Some of the guys who just graduated and played [in the alumni game] this year told me how awesome it was to see all these guys young and old. It shows how close of a true family we all become when we’re on the ballfield together. It’s something I’m very proud of.”
When two freshman players were asked about their initial thoughts on the team, both responded positively.
“Fall ball was an overall good time. It was nice to be able to meet and play/practice alongside all of the guys I’m going to be spending a good portion of my time with in the spring,” said freshman Chris Bouye, adding that the coaches give the players feedback during games and at practices.
Freshman Matt Callaghan pointed out that fall ball helped him learn how the program operates.
“The main thing I took away from fall ball is what the coaches expect of us in the classroom and on the field,” he said.
Callaghan also said that fall ball definitely helped him feel more confident and ready for the season come springtime.
“I know what to expect from the coaches and what they expect from me,” he stated.
Bouye stated that “the coaches truly care for all of their players. Coach Janosko runs a very strict program, which is essential for garnering the respect of his players, which is the first step in running a successful program.”
Janosko reflected on fall ball, stating “it absolutely improves the players. It shows the players how to do what in certain circumstances.”