Herkimer Baseball Excited to Start 2018 Season
After a long off season where the Herkimer baseball program had to think about the way 2017 ended, the Generals look to make some noise in 2018. Herkimer has reloaded with one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory, along with some key mid-year transfers, paired up with key returning players to create a roster filled with talent and expectations.
The Herkimer lineup features one of the most powerful lineups in the team’s history and the depth has the coaching staff excited about the possibilities. Freshman Brian Forbes (Rocky Point, NY) was one of the best hitters this fall and is projected as a D1 talent. “Forbes is a special player that we think the world of. He has the total package. Forbes displayed his power all fall and has continued to improve every month here on campus. The sky is the limit for him.” stated Head Coach Jason Rathbun. Forbes will hit in the middle of the lineup with Micheal Wroth (Chicopee, MA). Mike is a transfer from DI junior college Yappapi this fall and blasted 10 homeruns in the NYCBL this past summer. Steven Centorani (Windsor, NY) is a transfer from DII East Strousburg, who has displayed a very strong bat and could be a huge factor with his 6’7-230 pound frame.
Catching will be a strength for Herkimer with two very projectable talents in Matt Parkinson (Whitesboro, NY) and Kobe Jackson (Little Falls, NY). Returning sophomore Jordan Zeppieri (Monteville, CT) will add depth to the catcher’s position but also figure into the infield mix as well. Zeppieri hit .284 with 8 doubles and a homerun last year.
Sophomore’s Jake Terrill (Bayport, NY) and Justin Emond (Ontario, Canada) return to the infield where both had strong freshman seasons. Terrill hit .393 with 10 doubles, 3 homeruns, and 36 runs batted in, while Emond added a .356 average with 9 doubles and 11 stolen bases. Shortstop Ben Rhodes (Amsterdam, NY) is a transfer from DI Siena College and has shown great skill at shortstop for a 6 foot 5 infielder. Shawn Boston (Springfield, MA) is a DII Post University transfer. Vito Castronovo (Utica, NY) returns after arm surgery ended his freshman season last year, but has made some great improvements with his bat. Ben Osborne (Westhampton, NY) is a freshman that the staff is very excited about with his glove and steady left handed bat.
The outfield will be a strength for the Generals with returning sophomore Joe Fichera (Mahopac, NY) leading the way. Fichera hit .419 with 10 triples and 20 stolen bases as a freshman. Brandon Kruzinski (Schenectady, NY) is an elite defender in centerfield and an explosive athlete that has already gained DI interest. Brendyn Stillman (Waverly, NY) is a 3 time all-state selection who checks all the boxes for a 5 tool player. Dylan Klock (St. Johnsville, NY) had the best off season and looks to claim a spot in the lineup after hitting .348 with 7 doubles last season.
Herkimer features 17 arms that will all have a chance to contribute this year. Returning sophomore Ryan Flansburg had the best freshman year of the returning arms. Flansburg posted a 4-1 record with a 2.06 ERA with 41 strikeouts over 35 innings. Jarrett Fortin (Columbia, NY), LHP transfer John O’Donnell (North Attleboro, NY), RHP Siena transfer Zach Durant (Verona, NY), Cody Kaestle (Baldwinsville, NY) are all looking to build on the freshman years and make major contributions as sophomore’s. Freshman Ben Wager (Johnstown, NY) and Ryan Lanaro (Schenectady, NY) are two freshman who should have big impacts in the rotation coming off strong fall semesters. Transfers Cenorani and Matt Gonzalez (Scotia, NY) are two talented arms looking to help the staff. RHP Ben Champagne (Plattsburg, NY), RHP Robert Fratarcangeli (Arlington, NY), LHP Keegan Leffler (Saratoga, NY), LHP Evan O’Connor (Woodstock, CT), RHP Yanni Orfinidis (Bayside, NY), LHP Zak Green (Sidney, NY), RHP Seth Burnham (Unatego, NY), and RHP Matt Boone (Avon Farms, NY) are all freshman looking to define their role for the staff early in the season.
Herkimer starts their season on March 11th in Florida against Northern Essex CC. Seven of the Generals first ten games will be against 2017 regional champions. Herkimer’s first home game is April 7th against Borough of Manhattan CC. The Generals have a 44 game schedule for the 2018 spring season. Coach Rathbun will be entering his 14th year leading the Generals and carries 413-154 record in that span.