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April 3, 2013

Cougars, low in numbers, hope to stay healthy

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton Community College baseball team stuffs a 32-game schedule into a month’s time.

Having a deep bench certainly helps.

The Cougars, however, don’t have that luxury with 15 players on this year’s team.

“I’m concerned with the numbers,” Clinton coach Tom Neale said. “We have to stay healthy.

“Our guys are going to get a chance to play and that’s a good thing. We have great kids and the effort is good. But they will have to learn quickly.

“We have to be versatile because we have doubleheaders on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays.”

The Cougars began their 2013 season on Tuesday with a home twinbill against Columbia-Greene Community College and will travel to Columbia-Greene Thursday for two more.

“We play some tough teams right away,” Neale said. “We have to stay positive and continue to improve. It’s a question of how good we can be.”

Clinton has seven players who can pitch, including Anthony Porcelli, Eric Rock, Jamie Davison, Russell Merrill and Kristian Sherman. Porcelli and Rock are returners who will be counted on heavily.

“Davison is a pitcher, but we need him more at shortstop,” Neale said. “When Davison is on the mound, Rock will play shortstop.”

Neale is hoping Davison, Rock, Matt Leta, Chris Roenbeck, Joe Tolosky and Tom Curran are among the players who will supply some offense.

“They’ve hit the ball at each level they’ve played,” he said.

Roenbeck will be behind the plate, backed by Tolosky.

Around the infield, it will be Tolosky at first base, Merrill or Jason Favaro at second base, Davison at shortstop and Rock at third base. Joe Sullivan, Adam Payette and Rich Tarabula are also in the mix.

Curran, Porcelli, Leta, Sherman, Rabideau and Christian Camporeale are working in the outfield.

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