Rain slowing season start for Roxbury Legion baseball squad
By Julia Green
Thanks to a climate more suited to a rainforest than a summer in the mountains, local Legion baseball teams have struggled to maintain their schedule as rainouts and field conditions wreak havoc on their calendars.
The Roxbury Legion squad played its first game in a week Monday night, when they fell to host Stamford, 11-0.
“We hadn’t had a practice or a game in almost a week now, and nobody was really ready for this game,” said second-year Roxbury Head Coach Anthony Camillone. “Our hitting is usually our strength, but for some reason today we just didn’t show up.”
The Roxbury squad is anchored by four players from this year’s Roxbury Central School varsity baseball squad: Kyle Ciaravino, Jacob Liberatore, Garrett Hall and Joey Camillone.
“Kyle is definitely our number one starter,” said Camillone. “When he pitches, that gives us our best opportunity to win. Jacob is very solid in center field, and he’s got probably one of the best arms I’ve ever seen at this level of baseball. Joey, my brother, plays first base, and he does well – we call him ‘Joey Contact’ because he always hits. He doesn’t strike out very often. And then Garrett plays third base, and he’s very solid defensively.”
Another anchor for the Roxbury infield is Nick Hamil, who took over as the starting catcher after the team’s other starting catcher left for Tennessee. Hamil began as a utility player, getting plugged into the games wherever he was needed.
Dakota Coronia, the Roxbury second baseman, is a solid defensive player as well as a strong hitter.
“He hits ninth in our batting order because he’s like another leadoff man,” Camillone said. “I like him to hit ninth because he does get on base.”
The Roxbury roster also features Kevin Lutz and Derek Cowan in the outfield as well as John Cronk and Sebasitan Munoz and is rounded out by a host of younger players.
Camillone said that since the season began, the primary emphasis in training has been on the fundamentals of fielding and the importance of game smarts.
“Our weakness for sure is our fielding,” he said. “We make a lot of mental mistakes for some reason, like knowing when to go for a double-play, or sometimes when we hit and a lot of times the kids try and stretch a double into a triple when it’s clearly a double – that’s been a big issue. Basically, we need to not make so many mental mistakes and we would do much better.”
On the flip side of that, however, is the team’s strong skills at the plate.
“We hit pretty well,” Camillone said. “Unfor- tunately, we make a lot of mental mistakes on the base path, which is why we don’t score a lot of runs. But our batting order is pretty solid. Offensively, we’re pretty good; defensively, not so good.”
He added that a large number of the players on his roster don’t play baseball, and as a result don’t have a lot of experience with the game.
“I have four kids who played varsity and only another three or four that played modified,” he said. “Everybody else is just kids who wanted something to do for the summer.”
The Roxbury Legion squad has played a total of three games thus far, losing all three despite a strong showing against Stamford in the second game.
“I think in the fifth inning we were only losing 6-4, and Kyle Ciaravino pitched until the fifth or sixth inning that game, and he did really well,” Camillone said. “If it wasn’t for a few mistakes in the field, we might have been winning that game. Ultimately, we ended up losing that game, but probably in the two years I’ve coached this team, the first five innings of that game were the best I’ve seen our Legion team play.”
Camillone is joined in the coaching duties by his brother, Andrew. The Roxbury Legion squad will face the visiting team from Delhi at home on Thursday; a home game against Margaretville is tentatively scheduled for Friday.