Bushmen welcome new coach
Pine Bush’s baseball team lost in the Section 9, Class AA quarterfinals last year, and they return with a new coach, Matt Boffalo, and the same goal of winning a sectional title this year.
“We have a lot of kids coming back, hungry to return to that scenario,” said Boffalo.
Boffalo takes over following the decades-long tenure of Tom Walraven. With Walraven’s departure also came the graduation of his son, Tommy, the team’s best hitter last year.
Boffalo expects his rotation to be strong this year behind John Cain and Evan Leiberman, seniors, and Joe Conti, a junior.
Scott Flanick, a senior and a three-year starter, will play first, left field and hit cleanup in the batting order. Tom Mirra, senior, will play second base, and Dan Meredith, a senior, will be his double-play partner at short. Nick Moccio, a junior, will play third, and John Nelson, a senior, will play in the outfield.
Jonathan Lindau, a senior, will catch. Dan McNamara, senior, will play centerfield and pitch, and he’ll be joined in the outfield with Brendan Frank, a junior, John Nelson, a senior, and Savino Citriniti, sophomore.
Casey Piazza, senior, will also play first base. Ryan Samuels, a junior, will play second and pitch. Jake Borkowski, a junior, will pitch, and Raphael Rispoli, a junior, will so some catching. Dan Nobile, a junior, will play third base, and Kieran Lacovara, a junior, will play first and pitch.
Players committed themselves to early morning workouts in the off-season along with many hours in the batting cage. Boffalo said that’s already a good start before they see the season’s first pitch.
“The kids have put in the time,” said Boffalo. “They have the time and commitment into the program, and I’m happy with how it’s going right now.”
Flanick is headed to Army and will be a long-snapper on the football team. But before he leaves Pine Bush, he looks forward to his final baseball season with the Bushmen.
“I’m so ready,” said Flanick. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
By Bond Brungard