Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 14
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
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RIGHT STUFF: Princeton High star pitcher Benito Gonzalez delivers a pitch in action last spring. The Little Tigers will be depending on senior ace Gonzalez to have a big season as they look to improve on last year’s 4-18 record. Gonzalez and PHS got off to a rough start as they fell 10-2 to Nottingham last Monday in the season opener. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers play at Notre Dame on April 7, host Pennington on April 8 and Hopewell Valley on April 9, and then play at Florence on April 10 and at Allentown on April 12.

PHS Baseball Boasts Solid Core of Seniors, Aiming to Build on Last Season’s Progress

Bill Alden

A 4-18 record may not sound like progress but posting that mark last spring represented a step in the right direction for the Princeton High baseball team.

The win total quadrupled the program’s output in 2008 when it suffered through a 1-22 campaign.

As he returns for his second year as the PHS head coach, Dave Roberts believes that there is a comfort level that should result in more improvement.

“I think there is more confidence; the kids know the routine and they know what I expect,” said Roberts.

“Last year they had to learn what I wanted. It was a transition and we are definitely on the same page now. They improved so they became convinced of some of the things I was saying.”

Roberts is convinced that his corps of seniors, Trevor Barsamian, Steve Etherton, Benito Gonzalez, Nick Miranda, Danny Powell, Matt Weidner, and Carson Eisenach, will step up in their last go-around.

“We expect a lot of leadership from them,” said Roberts. “Nicky, Trevor, and and Benito are three-year starters. Powell and Etherton were full-time starters last year and played a lot as sophomores.”

PHS will need to get a lot from its three top pitchers, Gonzalez, Powell, and junior Luke Cordonnier.

“Benito will be our No. 1 guy,” said Roberts, whose team opened the season with a 10-2 loss at Nottingham last Monday. “I think people will realize this year that he is one of the best pitchers in the CVC.”

Roberts is hoping that Cordonnier and Powell realize their potential. “Luke had a great American Legion season last summer and has been impressive in our scrimmages,” added Roberts. “Powell has been looking good but his location is off a little bit and we need to fix that quick.”

The Little Tigers need to fix things offensively after a season in which they frequently squandered scoring opportunities.

“We need to do a better job when runners are in scoring position,” said Roberts. “We need to put five singles together; we are not waiting for 3-run homers. We need to make the big hits.”

Roberts is confident that lead-off man Miranda will trigger things. “Nicky is the guy who will be going off to play at Haverford next year,” said Roberts of the speedy Miranda, who hit .443 last spring. “He was at the top of the league in hitting and stolen bases last year and we are expecting the same from him.”

PHS is expecting more punch from some of its key veterans. “Stevie Etherton, Benito, and Trevor are guys who are gap to gap hitters,” added Roberts. “Luke was a little overmatched at the plate last year, we are hoping he’ll step up and have a better stick this year.”

In Roberts’ view, PHS should take some more steps forward this spring. “I was up front with the guys,” said Roberts, whose team plays at Notre Dame on April 7, hosts Pennington on April 8 and Hopewell Valley on April 9 and then plays at Florence on April 10 and at Allentown on April 12.

“Even though I don’t put a number on it, I expect us to be improved. I am looking for more than four wins, especially when Benito is on the mound.”

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