By Greg Klein
---- — There’s a new Dubben in charge of Cherry Valley-Springfield baseball, but that doesn’t mean things will change much for the Patriots.
Tim Dubben, who coached modified baseball for eight years, has taken over as varsity coach of CV-S for big brother Ed, who retired last year after three straight Tri-Valley League titles and five in years.
“Ed had a system in place and we’re keeping the same system,” the younger Dubben said.
Unfortunately for Dubben and CV-S, the Patriots couldn’t keep the same players in place. Gone are the “no-hit brigade,” pitchers Brett Adams, Andrew Bosc and Scott Stiles who lit up the league last season with their hitless games. Adams, who also played first base, was the winning pitcher in all three TV crossover games.
The trio aren’t the only ones gone either. Just four starters will return this year for the Patriots. Spencer Supak, Jon French, Tristan Fralick and Andrew Spencer return and former bench player Shawn Lowry will also have a big role this season.
French, a junior right hander, will take over as the No. 1 pitcher. “He’s got a good fastball and a good curveball,” Dubben said. “We’ve got about seven pitchers overall including two lefties in senior Austin Yaw and freshman Ethan Johnson.”
Lowry will also pitch and take over for Adams at first base when he is not on the mound.
Spencer and Supak return at third base and shortstop respectively, key holdovers that will anchor the Patriot infield.
Fralick, who played in the outfield last season, will take over as catcher.
Senior Justin Monahan will play center field. Johnson will also play in the outfield.
On offense, CV-S took a long time last season getting used to the new bats. Dubben said he thinks that, even one year later, teams will still have some adjusting to do.
“The way the bats are coming out, you can’t really hit for power anymore,” he said. “It will be about the same this year. We’ll probably play a little more small ball to make up for it.”
Last season, CV-S, Milford and Richfield Springs took until the final week of the season to decide the TV East division title. While the Patriots eventually won the title, the Wildcats and Indians went further in the sectional playoffs; Richfield went all the way to the Section Four Class D championship game before losing to three-time section champion Hancock.
Both the Wildcats and Indians have most of their players returning this season. “Our side of the league is going to be tough,” Dubben said. “Schenevus is going to be good as well.”
Unlike the CV-S softball team, which is just barely recruiting enough players to field a team, the baseball team has enough players. Dubben said he will keep 12 on varsity, and just sent three ninth-graders back down to modified so they have a better opportunity to get playing time.
CV-S will open the season on April 2 by hosting a non-league game against St. Johnsville. The Patriots will start league play on April 4 at Milford.
“It is going to be exciting,” Dubben said. “The kids are working hard and are ready to play. It should be an interesting season.”