Baseball: St. Joseph aims for continued success
Updated: August 20, 2012 6:04AM
WESTCHESTER — Coming off the two best seasons in program history, St. Joseph coach Jay Meath expects the success to continue in the future.
That’s a message new players should understand.
“Now that the bar has been set, so to speak, the newcomers know that the program is at a higher level than it once was,” Meath said. “We are a program in the area to be reckoned with, and as long as they understand that coming in, it’s a lot easier to get started. We don’t need to prove ourselves halfway through the season.”
St. Joseph won a program-best 26 games in the spring, losing to eventual third-place state finisher Nazareth 7-4 in the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional final, despite a late rally.
The Chargers, who have won back-to-back regional titles, have continued their success this summer.
“That (sectional loss) was a tough one to swallow, but we’re back on track,” Meath said. “We use the summer season and the run we had last year as a springboard to the spring. We lose six seniors, but we have some good players coming back and some new players coming in ready to play. The biggest thing the last three years is to get confidence that we can play with anybody; not get cocky by any means, but that we can compete.”
Senior Trayvon Johnson, who compiled a 7-3 pitching record during the spring, including a one-hitter in the sectional semifinal, will return as one of the team’s top players.
He’s also a talented hitter.
“He’s now a senior and he knows that he’s expected to be a leader,” Meath said. “He’s starting to step up and be the leader of the team on the field and on the mound. He’s a true No. 1 pitcher and is hitting excellent.”
Shortstop Luis Rivera, who will be a sophomore, has impressed Meath.
“He’s a good talent and leadoff hitter,” Meath said. “He has the chance to be our shortstop in the spring. He’s proving himself so far. We didn’t have room for him on varsity as a freshman, but he’s definitely competing for a job and doing pretty well.”
Senior Nick Genova, who could be the team’s new starting catcher, has also shown a lot during the summer.
“He’s done a good job behind the plate,” Meath said. “He’s working on throwing out runners and handling the pitching staff. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team.”