‘A great group of young men’

Goshen. Following a disappointing 2021 varsity baseball season, the coach of the Gladiators says the athletes ‘are focused on improving and appear able to put past mistakes behind them.’

| 21 Jun 2021 | 08:54

John Mardyniak, the head coach for the Gladiators, believes there are positive experiences that members of the Goshen High School baseball program can take away from this recently concluded 2021 season.

For instance, the Gladiators demonstrated strong concentration as well as a commendable amount of team unity through both victory and defeat on the field.

‘Just a great game’

John Mardyniak, the head coach for the Gladiators, vividly recalls some of the top notch performances by his team from this spring.

“The contest that stands out as the most impressive was our 3-2 victory over a strong Wallkill team,’’ Mardyniak said. “We got great pitching from two underclassmen, played solid defense including our right fielder Alex Pawliczak gunning down a runner at the plate on a tag up for a double play. We also got a clutch run batted in hit from our captain Joe Alfonso - just a great baseball game.’’

Leadership at practice and during games

Alfonso was among the leaders on the roster for Goshen.

“Definitely our two captains, Gabe Terrett and Joe Alfonso showed leadership at practice and during games, keeping the boys focused and upbeat during a difficult season (4-14 record) where the wins didn’t add up like we expected,’’ Mardyniak said. “They also led our team in every major category.’’

Looking to 2022

Improvements were seen across the board for the Gladiators this year.

“Our junior catcher Rian Kaye continued to improve all season as him arm strength and times down to second base improved to the point where he was throwing runners out on a regular basis,’’ Mardyniak said. “ He became great at blocking and framing as well.’’

The Gladiators tallied four hard earned wins this past season and they are excited about the prospects of the future.

“The COVID pandemic definitely impacted prep time and off season and took longer to stretch pitchers out, which made managing early double headers difficult,’’ Mardyniak said. “Some of the things that give us optimism would be that we had many sophomores and juniors that continued to get better and will return with varsity experience, nine of them, seven starters or consistent players.

“Also, their work ethic was amazing,” the head coach added. “(They are) very focused on improving and able to put past mistakes behind them - great group of young men.”