Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 5, 2014

Key players back for GI baseball

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Santorio said pitching will be key this season. He said he's happy with his top pair and hopes depth will be an advantage down the stretch.

"If our first two guys are solid, we have enough other guys to get it done," Santorio said. "I think we'll have 7-8 guys who can throw this year, and I feel a lot more comfortable than years past." 

Also seeing time on the mound will be brothers Mark and Manny Montes, a junior and sophomore, senior Kyle Schoener and junior Bobby Carroll.

Nicolia and McKenna will be the focal points for GI both offensively and defensively. During the 2012 playoff run, Nicolia was forced into defensive action after an injury to starting shortstop John McGinty, who is now playing Division I at the University of Hartford.

Back then, Santorio said Nicolia might've been the best fielder in the GI program. This season, he'll start at shortstop and bat third. Santorio mentioned that Nicolia has drawn interest from Division II Gannon University in Erie, Pa.

McKenna — a first team All-NFL player as a sophomore who joins Corrao on Canisius' radar — will start in centerfield and hit fourth.

Santorio has most of his lineup set, though he said he wasn't positive who would lead off. The top candidate is junior Mitch Racz, a transfer who started at Kenmore East last season who will see time at catcher, second base and in the outfield.

Barrett will hit second, playing first or third when he's not on the hill. Corrao will follow Nicolia and McKenna form the five-hole, alternating with Barrett on the corners when not pitching.

Ben Goc, who played a reserve role last season, will see time at catcher and in the outfield. Senior Bryce Callen can play second or outfield. Manny Montes can catch and play the infield, while Mark Montes will see time in the outfield.

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