Rams prep to defend N-O diamond title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 March 2017 at 7:37 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for defending champion Roy-Hart is this quartet of senior veterans including Brendan Hess, Jake Stern, Eric Fitch and Cam Meadows.

Last spring Roy-Hart ended a 60 year plus long drought by capturing the Niagara-Orleans League baseball championship. Now the Rams return a solid nucleus of veterans with which to defend that title.

The senior quartet of Jake Stern (catcher), Eric Fitch (third base/catcher), Brendan Hess (shortstop) and Cam Meadows (pitcher/outfield) head the Rams veteran contingent which also includes juniors Al Xapsos (outfield), Jake Bruning (pitcher/outfield) and Ben Schwab (pitcher) and sophomores Charlie Bruning (pitcher/first base), Nick Kubas, Matt Maines (outfield) and Tim Maines (second base).

Meadows and Xapsos both earned second team N-O All-League honors last year while Charlie Bruning received Honorable Mention.

The Rams roster also includes seniors Austin Walker and Nick Ander and sophomore Charlie Brigham.

“We have more quality depth at pitcher and on defense this season,” said Coach Jeff Ziemicki whose Rams last spring captured the school’s first N-O diamond championship since 1953.

Roy-Hart’s key losses to graduation include first team N-O honorees Andy Xapsos (infield) and Justin Heschke (outfield) along with second team selection Ben Maynard (outfield).

The Rams, which went 12-2 in N-O action last year is scheduled to begin their title defense at Barker on April 5.

April: 3 – Maritime, 4:45 p.m.; 5 – at Barker, 4:45 p.m.; 7 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.; 11 – Lockport, 12 p.m.; 12 – at Albion, 4:45 p.m.; 18 – at Lyndonville, 4:30 p.m.; 19 – at Medina, 7:30 p.m.; 21 – North Tonawanda, 5 p.m.; 22 – St. Mary’s Lancaster, 1 p.m.; 24 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 26 – Barker, 4:45 p.m.; 28 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.

May: 1 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 2 – at CSAT, 4:45 p.m.; 3 – Albion, 4:45 p.m.; 5 – Medina, 7:30 p.m.; 9 – Tonawnada, 4:30 p.m.; 10 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.; 15 – at Oakfield-Alabama, 4:30 p.m.