After coming off of a regional championship game appearance last year, Todd Fitz-Gerald is optimistic about his 2015 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity baseball team. The team has already started on a good note this year, having opened its season on the road with an 11-1 victory over Calvary Christian Academy.
“I have some pretty high expectations for this year and I’ve got a lot of players whom I expect to perform really well throughout the entire season,” Fitz-Gerald said. “My seniors have to step it up and play like college freshmen and my juniors have to play like high school seniors, and they know it already.”
Leading the way for Fitz-Gerald’s varsity sluggers are a few familiar faces from last season’s Douglas baseball program.
Senior catcher Dominick DiCaprio, according to Fitz-Gerald, hits for power and helps to anchor the lineup while senior third baseman Devin Conn’s defensive and utility play is expected to assist in the Eagles having a successful season.
“As a senior, I plan on leading by example and going 100 percent every day,” DiCaprio, who has already committed to bring his baseball talents to Rice University in Texas next fall, said. “I’d [also] like to enjoy the season, get the most out of it and win a state title. I plan on ending this year on a high note.”
In addition to the talents of Conn and DiCaprio, Fitz-Gerald has some other tools he can use this season. Junior left-handed-pitcher Jesus Luzardo has earned the responsibility as the team’s ace, while junior short stop Colton Welker continues to be one of the leaders on the field, said Fitz-Gerald.
“My strengths are defense and pitching; we are going to throw a lot of strikes,” Fitz-Gerald added. “We have speed and power too but that’s where we’ll need the other players on the team to help balance the lineup all the way through in order for us to get the job done.”
This year, Douglas takes on a 23-game schedule in the regular season, and according to Fitz-Gerald, has aspirations to surpass its 19-9 final stat of 2014. Between nearly a dozen seniors, quite a few returning players, and the talents and dedication of everyone on the team, Fitz-Gerald has hopes for a successful year.
“We’re taking it one day at a time and play in a team-oriented fashion,” he added. “My players each have jobs; I just want them to always do their best, be good leaders and then we should get good results from all of that.”
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