Purple Eagles have youthful diamond squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 March 2017 at 7:41 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Albion’s veteran group includes Liam Ward, Jake Buzard, Bryce Pritchard, Vincent Zona and JaQuess Harrison.

The accent is certainly on youth for the Albion varsity baseball squad this season as the Purple Eagles lineup includes only one senior.

The veteran quintet of senior Jake Buzard (catcher/outfield), junior JaQuess Harrison (shortstop/pitcher), sophomores Bryce Pritchard (first base/pitcher) and Vincent Zona (outfield/pitcher) and freshman Liam Ward (infield/pitcher) anchors the Albion squad. Pritchard earned second team Niagara-Orleans All-League honors last spring.

The Purple Eagles roster also includes juniors Antonio Vallejo-Miler (outfield), Brian VanWycke (outfield), Nate Fearby (outfield/pitcher) and Austin Dugan (outfield) along with sophomores Harrison Brown (catcher/infield) and Addison Christ (infield/pitcher) and freshman Thomas Furmanski (infield/pitcher).

“We’re young,” said Coach Bruce Blanchard. “We have quite a few arms but they are all young. We’ve got good athletes who have good baseball sense it’s just a matter of getting them experience.”

The Purple Eagles major graduation losses include pitcher/infielder Brady Meakin, who earned first team N-O honors, along with the second team All-League trio of pitcher/first baseman Evan Pappalardo, pitcher/infielder Jason Downs and designated hitter Randy Eblacker.

Albion, which went 9-5 in N-O competition last year, is slated to begin league action at Akron on April 5.

March: 31 – Holley, 4:30 p.m.

April: 1 – Alden, 12 p.m.; 4 – Kenmore, 4:45 p.m.; 5 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 7 – Barker, 4:45 p.m.; 10 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.15 – at St. Mary’s Lancaster, 12 p.m.; 19 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 21 – at Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 24 – Canisius, 4:45 p.m.; 25 – at Alden, 4:30 p.m.; 27 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 28 – at Barker, 4:45 p.m.

May: 1 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 3 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.; 5 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 8 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – Aquinas, 4:45 p.m.; 13 – at Niagara Falls, 12 p.m.