Gabby Zeeman, Editor

In 2017, the Slater baseball team made it to the district semi-finals with a solid record of 10-6-1. This year, coach Hartman and coach Oliver, along with dedicated captains, seniors Colby Toth and Jake Caserta have their standards set high to catch victory. 

As captains, both Caserta and Toth help lead the teams’ stretches and make sure everyone is focused overall. 

“I feel that we should act as a role model for the younger kids to show them what it takes to compete at the varsity level and most importantly how to act as young men. Baseball is a psychological game, so teaching them that side is very important,” Caserta said. “It just takes the will to be a leader and take charge of a team. Skill and talent have nothing to do with it but having that leadership trait is important.” 

The team returns one starter – Caserta – who spends most of his time behind home plate as catcher. 

“Jake has been on varsity since he was a sophomore. He is the most experienced player on the team and knows what winning is all about. His sophomore year, he helped the team with the Colonial League Title,” senior Braeden Keith (left fielder) said. “At catcher, he is one of the most important players to the team. Not to mention his speed and ability to handle a bat and rack up some extra base hits.” 

This year, Toth will be guiding the Slaters from the mound with his favorite pitch – the curveball. 

“Colby is a great left handed pitcher, probably one of the best in the colonial league. His pitching will help us win a lot of games this year and he is also a key outfielder when he isn’t on the mound,” Keith said. 

New to the starting line-up is junior Kevin Manz (pitcher, shortstop, third baseman) who was a stand out on junior varsity last year. His dedication to the game and to the offseason are not only beneficial for him, but also the entire team. 

“Kevin has shown great improvement with his hitting and pitching from last year. I know he has been working hard all offseason trying to improve his game,” Toth said. “He has the potential to be a great pitcher that is going to need to throw a lot of innings this year. He has good speed and movement of the ball.” 

Overall, the boys’ success last season came down to all the time they committed to offseason workouts and in the weight room.  

“This offseason, Coordinated Health implemented a weight training program after school days specifically baseball. They did a great job at helping us become stronger, faster, and more athletic in general,” Keith said. “The offseason is a great time to bond with teammates as well and I believe we have a great general chemistry with each other. Training consisted of a many core workouts and agility work.” 

As the boys make their way through the season, they will have their eyes set on Notre Dame – their toughest competition.  

“I would consider Notre Dame our toughest competition this year. They have a well experienced group of kids that have played together for a long time. They also pitch very well, which will be a challenge for us,” Toth said. 

Although their most challenging competitor is Notre Dame, nothing can compare to the pre-game anticipation the Slaters have when they play the school rivals – the Pen Argyl Green Knights. 

“We all are definitely looking forward to the Pen Argyl game. It’s going to be a great game plus it’s our rivalry, so we would love to win,” Caserta said. “I feel the best way to prepare for a game like that is by showing up to practice and taking it day by day.” 

Fans of the Slater baseball team can come out and show their support 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4 as the Slaters take on Southern Lehigh at Bangor high school.