Cheryl Clough James Johnson is safe at third last week against Central Valley.

With only two seniors on a team that has six freshmen and six sophomores, the Cooperstown baseball team is looking to rebuild this season and gain more experience in each and every game.

“The focus this year is on the basics,” said Cooperstown baseball coach Frank Miosek. “Pitchers throwing strikes, fielders making the correct plays given the situations, and batters putting the ball into play.”

Cooperstown, who finished 11-8 last year, lost seniors Ethan Bliss, Sawyer Haney, and Nico Knull to graduation. Bliss and Haney are both pitching at the collegiate level this season, at Utica College and SUNY IT respectively. 

With these losses and a pitching squad that includes four freshmen that are facing varsity hitters for the first time this season, each game will be about learning and developing further as a team and as individuals.

“I have a very young team,” said Miosek, who is in his 25th year of coaching. “They have a love for the sport and a desire to improve so that we can better compete at the varsity level as the year progresses and into the future.”

Key returners for the Hawkeyes this season are junior catcher Jack Donnelly, senior shortstop Park Summers, senior centerfielder James Johnson and sophomore infielder/pitcher Raymond Cabrera. 

The move to Division II of the Center State Conference means the Hawkeyes will be competing with Dolgeville, Frankfort-Schuyler, Little Falls, West Canada Valley and Herkimer. Miosek said that all the opponents would be tough for Cooperstown this season, because of the lack of experience.

“We want to win the close contests and earn respect from the teams in our new division,” said Miosek.

The unpredictable spring is causing teams to have back-to-back games due to cancellations and postponements, with Cooperstown being no exception. They were scheduled to play every day this week. Miosek recently found out that even sectionals are being pushed back this year from May 19 to May 22 to allow for games to be rescheduled.

“We are showing improvement every time we take the field, but even that has been difficult because of the challenging weather,” said Miosek. 

Cooperstown plays at Frankfort-Schuyler on Friday.  

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