Despite the inclement weather setting the season opener back for the Columbia-Greene Community College baseball team, the Twins are prepared to embrace the new year.
“Realistically, we want to do better than last year. The goal for this year is we obviously want to have a better record than we did last year,” C-GCC head coach Nick Dyer said.
Columbia-Greene finished the 2017 season 5-26 and 4-18 in the Montain Valley. Heading into this season, Dyer and assistant coach Skip Ingham are experiencing a transition year, after a large group of talent from 2017 graduated or transfered.
The Twins are without seven players from last season’s roster, all of whom were starters. One of the key departures was catcher Joe Dwy, who transferred to SUNY Canton after a freshman campaign that saw him lead the team in batting average (.311) and hits (28).
“We lost Joe Dwy and that was a big loss, but I’m glad he is doing well at Canton,” Dyer said.
The Twins are also without starting pitchers Mike Bowes and Noah Erns, who ate up 65 innings last season. Ernst was also third on the team in batting average, hitting .257,
However, the Columbia-Greene is returning one of its three starting pitchers in Phil Proper. The sophomore right-hander went 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 32 innings of work.
“We are looking for him to do great things,” Dyer said of his ace. “His record last year isn’t what it should have been with certain plays in certain games where he was pitching that should have been made and they weren’t, so he did a lot better than what a lot of people think.”
Dyer plans to round out his rotation with left-hander Hunter Goodacre, who started four games and saw 16 innings of work. The Twins will also be looking to use sophomore Lucas Foster and freshman Sean Berry, of Red Hook High School.
Heading into the 2018 campaign, Dyer hopes that the offense is improved and it starts with one of his incoming freshman.
“I’m really hoping it looks a lot better. We have Tyler Drahushuk, who is going to be our centerfielder, and I think he is going to hit better than our whole team did last year,” Dyer stated. “Definitely Tyler is a standout. He’s a big kid, he’s fast, he has a strong arm and he can track down the ball in the outfield better than most guys I’ve seen. We are looking for big things from him.”
Dyer is also excited about Berry and what he brings to the table, describing him as a “quick kid” and he expects to have him higher up in the lineup.
Alongside Drahushuk and Berry will be Coxsackie-Athens’ Joe Tedford, who returns from knee surgery that limited his freshman season to just nine games.
The former Patroon Conference All-Star is expected to fill Dwy’s hole behind the plate and Dyer is excited about the sophomore’s return to the lineup.
“He looks good behind the plate right now, he’s going to be our number one guy and he’s going to catch a lot of innings,” he said.
Dyer is looking forward to the future of Columbia-Greene baseball and it looks bright for the Twins.
“As far as next year, we already have five commits, so we are not necessarily in a rebuild stage. We are just trying to get the same number we had last year when we brought in 30 guys and we’d like to bring in the same,” Dyer explained. “The turnover with two-year colleges is tough to keep guys and we have them for two years and then they leave and you have to start all over again. For next year we are looking to bring in as many guys as we can at as many positions and improve over the last two-to-three years.”
The Twins were expected to start the 2018 season on Saturday at Orange County Community College, however, due to the recent snowstorm that game has been canceled. This week, Columbia-Greene has a three-game road trip scheduled against Corning Community College followed by an away game at Monroe Community College.
If the Twins are unable to hit the field in March, they will start their season on April 10 at home in a double-header against Adirondack Community College satrting at 2 p.m.