By Nate Discavage
Larry Sudbrook begins his 29th season at the helm of the St. Bonaventure baseball team. Even in a rebuilding season, the Bonnies look to out-perform their low preseason prediction of 12th place in the Atlantic 10. St. Bonaventure finished 2013 with a 20-28 overall record and 9-15 in conference play.
The weather has always had an effect on St. Bonaventure early in the season. The snow and freezing temperatures have limited outdoor team practice. With little outdoor practice, the team has suffered at the beginning of the season. The Bonnies are off to a rough start and have an 1-8 record.
Along with the weather, the team lacks experience. St. Bonaventure lost six seniors, including All-Atlantic 10 First Team Billy Urban. Junior Bret Heath and sophomore Thad Johnson are the only two returning starting position players. Sudbrook emphasizes the fact that although there is a lot of talent on the team it is very young.
There will be one glaring absence from this year’s squad. Last July, star pitcher Andrew Revello was killed in a car accident. Revello was slated to be the team’s ace. He was not only one of the star players for the team but a great clubhouse guy.
“Coming back the first week of practice without Dice (Revello) was pretty tough,” said Sudbrook, who described him as “a good player, good student, and good teammate.”
The team honored Revello this season by hanging his jersey in the dugout when they played Iowa in their season opener.
The Bonnies will rely heavily on their pitching staff. Sudbrook says that the team has “four or five pretty good arms at the top…whose pitching should keep us in the ballgames.” The rotation is headed by Joel Rosencrance and Asa Johnson. Rosencrance, who was named to the second team Atlantic Ten All-Conference team, is playing both ways this season (pitching and hitting).
Fear not, however, Bona fans; the team’s nine freshman will soon learn the ropes of college baseball and adjust accordingly. Sudbrook mentioned two freshmen from Ohio who stand out from the rest: Daniel Trimble and Danny Urban (brother of Billy Urban). Along with team leaders Rosencrance, Johnson and Dylan Dunn, the St. Bonaventure baseball team looks to rebound after their trip to Florida.