2015 Season Preview
The 2015 Triton College Baseball team looks to accomplish much more than last year’s disappointing finish. The Trojan roster has 14 players returning from last year’s team. The team’s strength without question should be the depth of the pitching staff and seven returning positional players that saw significant time as freshman. With the addition of 5 transfers/red-shirt freshmen and the returning players, veteran leadership should play a major role in the success of this year’s team. Despite the fact the Trojans added 16 new faces to the program, Coach Torgerson thinks this is a very talented group.
Triton will have to rely on good team speed, defense, and an offense that will provide a much needed pop that Coach Torgerson has not had in a few years. The Pitching staff has some veteran leadership however the overall depth of the staff will be young, untested and will have to have consistency in order for the Trojans to compete in the tough Region IV schedule.
Shortstop: The left side of the infield will have plenty of competition between sophomores Eric Lecoure (St. Joseph HS/IL), and Matt Vitulli (Bartlett HS/IL). Both should offer consistent defensive play and some offensive punch.
Third Base: Will be anchored by steady defensive play by sophomore Matt Sturchio (Century HS/MN). Red-shirt freshmen Trayvon Johnson (St. Joseph HS/IL) and sophomore Dan Hernandez (Clemente HS/IL) should offer some offensive production and defense to the position.
First Base: The right side is a toss-up among several players. Three players have made positional changes, including Connor McLain (St. Rita HS/IL) who converted from outfield, Jesus Saavedra (Maine South HS/IL) who converted from third base and transfer Josh Mitchell (Morehead St. University) who also converted from outfield. Each of the three had good fall workouts and add different elements to the Trojan offense. A pair of freshman, Shawn Cavallone (Providence Catholic HS/IL) and Justin Gorr (Bay City Western HS/MI) have showed the ability to swing the bat. All five players will make it tough on Coach Torgerson to determine who will command most of the playing time.
Second Base: Sophomore standout Billy Quirke (Providence HS/IL) looks to anchor the post at second base. While freshman Sergio Villalobos (Morton West HS/IL) and Matt Vitulli look to add depth at the position.
Although the group lacks in numbers, one of the Trojan’s strengths this year should be in the outfield, with a speedy core of players that should offer a good offensive punch. Sophomores Danny Oliveri (Flannigan HS/FL), and James Battley (transfer from Liberty University) look to solidify the two corner outfield spots. Red-shirt freshman Corey Krupske (Lincoln-Way North HS/IL) is expected to patrol centerfield. Freshman Jake Taschetta (Wheaton North HS/IL) and Alcorn St. University transfer Shane Brown (Simeon HS/IL) look to add depth and offer flexibility/speed and offense to the squad, enabling Coach Torgerson to rotate players in each of three outfield spots.
Triton’s catching duties will be inexperienced with four guys competing for the spot. Danny Barron (St. Joseph HS/IL) looks to be the front runner after a very good post season effort last spring. Freshman Justin Agne (Riverside-Brookfield HS/IL), Joe Dahlke (Lakes HS/IL), and sophomore Luke Daniels (Marist HS/IL) look not only to add depth to the position but compete for a starting role. A load will be placed on this talented group too manage a very untested pitching staff and provide leadership to an overall young group of pitchers.
The Trojan Pitching Staff will consist of six sophomores and eleven freshmen, totaling 17 in all, giving Coach Torgerson many options to go to. There is a tremendous need to bolster the pitching staff in order compete in the expanded conference play in the N4C and at the region and district levels. Three returning sophomores, Matt Sturchio (Century HS/MN), Bronson Wittkamp (Hoffman Estates HS/IL), and Kyle Crawford (Providence Catholic HS/IL) look to offer consistency near the top of the rotation. Freshman Will Kincanon (transfer Middle Tennessee St. University/Riverside-Brookfield HS/IL), Colby Breen (Batavia HS/IL), Zach Jackovich (Joliet Catholic HS/IL) and Tyler Quick (Montini Catholic HS/IL) look to add depth to the seven man rotation. The Trojan staff is well balanced with five lefthanders Danny Spinuzza (Downers Grove South HS/IL), Brandon Popp (Lake Park HS/IL), Josh Mitchell (Minooka HS/IL) and sophomores Jon Niemann (Buffalo Grove HS/IL) and Shane Brown (Simeon HS/IL) have shown that they can get people out in any role starting or relief. Freshman Anthony Iniquez (Morton West HS/IL) red-shirt sophomores Rasheed Harris (Kenwood Academy HS/IL), Danny Hernandez (Clemente HS/IL) and Pedro Martinez (St. Rita HS/IL) have shown promise in relief roles in the fall. If the staff remains healthy and intact, should be the best Coach Torgerson has had in his 11 year tenure at Triton.
Triton’s designated hitter will vary throughout the season. McLain, Gorr, Mitchell, Dahlke, Agne, Cavallone, and Sturchio will battle to see time here. Each will add some power and production to help strengthen the Trojan lineup.