Purple Eagles taking aim at rebound N-O diamond season
Six returning seniors anchor the lineup for Albion which is seeking to get back into Niagara-Orleans League title contention this spring.The Purple Eagles had captured the N-O crown six of seven years between 2008 and 2014 but slipped to third place last season at 8-6.
Leading that quest are senior veterans Jason Downs (pitcher/shortstop), Evan Pappalardo (first base/pitcher), Brady Meakin (second base/pitcher), Kyle Smith (outfield/catcher), Randy Eblacker (designated hitter/first base) and Jared Fearby (outfield).
Meakin earned first team N-O All-League honors while Pappalardo was a second team selection.
The Purple Eagles roster also includes senior Alex DeSmit (outfield), junior Jacob Buzard (catcher/first base), sophomore Jaquess Harrison (infield/pitcher) and freshmen Bryce Pritchard (third base/pitcher) and Nate Moore (outfield/pitcher).
“We’ve got a good pitching core back with our three senior pitchers and I’ve really got six guys I can put on the mound. They all can throw,” said Coach Bruce Blanchard. “We’re a bit on the young side but we’ve got some talent. I think our defense will be decent. The key is if we can manufacture some runs.”
Albion’s key losses are outfielder Aaron Burnside, pitcher Austin Loyd , infielder Dominic DiCureia and catcher/centerfielderr Trey Hart. DiCureia and Hart were both second team N-O All-League selections while Loyd earned honorable mention.
“We’ve got good depth at pitching which is big and we’ve got good team speed so if we can hit we’ll be successful,” said Blanchard.
Albion is scheduled to begin tuning up for the league campaign by visiting Niagara Falls Thursday in a non league contest. The Purple Eagles are slated to open the N-O campaign at home on April 8 against Wilson.
March 24 – at Niagara Falls, 12 p.m.
April 2 – at Oakfield-Alabama, 12 p.m.
April 4 – at North Tonawanda, 5 p.m.
April 6 – at St. Mary’s of Lancaster, 4:30 p.m.
April 8 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
April 11 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.
April 13 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
April 15 – CSAT, 4:45 p.m.
April 18 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
April 20 – Barker, 4:45 p.m.
April 22 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.
April 23 – at Attica Tournament
April 27 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
April 29 – at Medina, 4:45 p.m.
May 2 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
May 4 – at CSAT, 4:45 p.m.
May 6 – Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
May 9 – ay Barker, 4:45 p.m.
May 12 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.
May 14 – at Niagara Falls, 12 p.m.