Following a strong 2012 showing that included the Mid-Hudson Athletic League Division IV championship, Rhinebeck will look to improve on that and compete for a regional Section IX championship this year.
For the 2013 season, which opens next week, Coach Bill Carney and his team are focused on the present. “We hope to be a contending team by season’s end, but right now we are concerned with getting ready to open the season,” he said.
The focus this year, Carney added, will be keeping a tight divisional play record.
“Our divisional games are paramount,” Carney said. “We beat Coleman in two close games (last year) and then they went on to win a state championship. Millbrook played us tough, and we expect them to be even tougher. Pine Plains joins our division with this year’s realignment and they have as good a baseball pedigree as any team in the area.”
Outlining his team’s stronger attributes, Carney said, “Our outfield defense was very strong last year and we expect the same again with Sam Tigges and Nate Blakey returning to lead the crew.” But, he added, Rhinebeck is looking to focus on improving an offense that under performed in 2012, specifically in base running. “We can’t have the lack of production on the bases we had last year,” said Carney.
Carney believes that senior Will Burns will be provide an important offensive spark for the team in 2013, and that Nick Hoynes, who battled chronic injury in 2012, should have a strong season if he remains healthy.
Rhinebeck will visit Red Hook at 4:15pm on April 3, and will have their home opener hosting Franklin Delano Roosevelt at 4:15pm on April 4.