Controlling the controllable

Central Valley. The Monroe-Woodbury Varsity Baseball Team is hopeful and focused as the players wait for the green light to play ball in this time of COVID-19 shutdown.

| 01 Apr 2020 | 01:36

There was and still is a tremendous amount of excitement and hope for the start of the Spring 2020 Varsity Baseball season.

Chris Vero, entering his seventh season as head coach of the Crusaders, brings back ten returning players, including eight seniors.

The 2019 season ended with a Section 9 semifinal loss.

This year's team is poised after a full off-season of training to be the best they possibly can be out on the diamond when it is safe to do so.

Senior Pitcher Dylan Beers (who is committed to play at the University of Rhode Island) returns for his third varsity season. Last year as a junior, Beers led the team in wins, earned run average, innings pitched and strikeouts.

“Dylan has been excellent this off-season working with his younger teammates and being a leader and teacher of the game,” Vero said.

Catcher Senior Sean Lynch (who is committed to play at Saint Thomas Aquinas commit) had a great off-season in the weight room, putting on more than 15 lbs. of muscle.

“Sean’s dedication and work ethic to being the best he can possibly be is infectious," Vero said, "and is exactly what the team needs from a leader.”

On paper, the outfield has a tremendous amount of depth with three seniors: Peter Mastropolo (who is committed to play at Stevens Institute of Technology commit), Ben Crowley (who is committed to play at Mount St. Mary College) and Daniel Mundy.

In the infield, the Crusaders are led by sure-handed senior shortstop Joey “Gonzo” Gonzalez as well as corner infielders Cal Caruso (who is committed to play at Franklin Pierce University) and senior Daniel Moruzzi.

The underclassmen make up the remainder of the team and each one is hungry to compete for at-bats and innings this season.

“Right now the season is out of our hands," Vero said. "The safety of everyone in our community and the country is most important.

"We talk often to our athletes about controlling the controllable and that’s exactly what we are focusing on right now," the coach added. "We are hopeful, focused and continue to prepare the best we can for when we get the green light. The kids have been looking forward to their first game on the new field so much. When that day comes, it will be a special day for everyone."