EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School baseball team is ready to get its season underway in its new home of Division II.
The Townies along with Warwick Vets were among the teams to drop down a rung. East Providence missed the D-I playoffs a year ago, and come into this season seeking a return to the postseason in its new home.
Bobby Rodericks will be in his second season as East Providence’s head coach. His philosophy this year is to take it one game at a time and one practice at a time.
“I’m not going to set the bar to high this year, but I know we have some talent. But basically this year my philosophy is not just one game at a time but one practice at a time,” said coach Rodericks.
He also looks to change the practices into being more strategic along with conditioning.
“Last year I practiced them very hard and ran them a lot and this year I want to add a little bit more strategy into the practices along with conditioning drills”, coach Rodericks said.
Coming into this year the Townies are without star pitcher Scott Melo and catcher Chris Licata along with infielders Nick DeBarros and Keith Marquis. Coach Rodericks knows that these players are big losses but has replacements that can be good fits in their spots.
“They were a great senior crew and cannot be replaced. But we do have some kids coming up that will get the job done,” said Coach Rodericks.
As of right now coach Rodericks does have his lineup set for the start of the season.
St. Raphael transfer and senior Nick Karalekas will play shortstop, senior Aaron Branco will play second base while junior Colin Costa will be at third base. The catching situation will be a battle between sophomores Marc LaValley and Mike Allienello, who could be flip flopped throughout the season.
Senior and captain Alex Hurley will play centerfield, and right field will be played by sophomore Ethan Gervais. Junior Jasiah Hatch will play left field. C.J. Woods and Keith Grant will be pitching along with sophomore Kyle Marquis and senior Troy Derrick.
As for leadership, the Townies have named Hurley and Karalekas as captains.
East Providence starts its regular season schedule on the road with games against Vets, April 9, at 3:45 p.m. and Central, April 12, in Providence at Joe Williams Field at 4:15 p.m.
The Townies are joined in the Division II-Central subgroup by Warwick Vets, Central, Classical, Davies, Hope, Juanita Sanchez, Mt. Pleasant and Wheeler.
East Providence plays its first home date at Pierce Field Tuesday, April 16, against Classical at 11 a.m.