When taking about the top baseball clubs in the UCBAC, a number of great names come to mind: Fallston, C. Milton Wright, Bel Air, North Harford and Harford Tech just to name a few. But there is a new UCBAC program on the rise and looking at a shot at post-season success.
Starting the 2011 season with a perfect 7-0 record, the Patterson Mill Huskies have been wreaking havoc on the Maryland baseball scene both in and out of the Susquehanna Division, beating ranked Fallston and North Harford in addition to their Susquehanna work.
“That’s where we want to be,” Husky coach Matt Roseland said about the Chesapeake Division. “We feel we can compete with them and we have proven that.
“A lot of people didn’t think were able to hang with them this year, but some other teams are learning that we are doing some good things here, and we can’t wait for our program to keep growing.”
Not only is the team growing, but it is growing together, seeing a number of juniors and seniors who have been playing as a squad for nearly their entire high school careers.
One of those seasoned veterans, Jimmy Salamone, is leading the pack by his performances at the dish, batting .353 in six games, with six hits, a team high six RBIs, and crossing the plate eight times for the Huskies.
“We just need to keep swinging, put the bat on the ball and good things will happen,” Salamone said of the Huskies, who hold a team average of .278 with 45 hits on the year. The team has struck-out just 19 times in 196 plate appearances.
“We haven’t had a guy break out yet, no one has had a three or four-hit game, but our strikeouts from years past has been limited tremendously,” Roseland said. “Anytime you put the ball in play, you have an opportunity, so we are doing a much better job of making two-strike contact, limiting our strikeouts and putting pressure on their defense.”
Zach Zeller is proof that Patterson Mil’s offense is distributed, adding to the team a .385 batting average and six RBIs, while Luke Depasquale and Matt Golczewski dig around the bases with five and six steals, respectively.
On the other side of the plate, the Huskies are seeing Joe Roman and Matt Golczewski lead the Patterson Mill hurlers with two wins each, and combining for 24 strikeouts on the year.
“Our pitching staff does a good job of keeping us in, and we know our offense will come around,” Roseland explained. “Having two guys available to throw is huge, and we consider ourselves as having two number ones.”
Golczewski holds the lowest ERA on the tea, just 1.17, and has allowed just fix hits while striking out 15 batters. Roman, boasting a 1.87 ERA, has struck-out nine batters on the year, pitching 15 innings and allowing just one hit per inning on average.
“It feels good contributing to the team, throwing strikes and just getting out of the innings,” Roman said.
The Huskies have made it to the 1A North Regional Playoffs twice in the last two seasons, but have been stopped short both of post-season success both times by the Perryville Panthers. This year however, Roseland says, “We want the playoffs to come through us.”
“We set two goals for this season: one was to win the Susquehanna Division and give us an opportunity to play in the Chesapeake Division daily, and we feel, in the 1A North, we have a team that can compete for winning our region. If that happens, we will set new goals from there.”
Those goals have been growing since Roseland started the team just a handful of years ago, all the while with assistant coaches Brandan Buerhaus and Pat Sears by his side.
“The coaching staff is terrific here,” Roseland said. “Coach Buerhaus and Coach Sears have been with us four years, and we three have kind of built the varsity staff up the past four years together. Without them, we would not be who we are right now.”
And right now, the Huskies are on top, plain and simple. With the best record in the Susquehanna Division, Harford County and the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference, and outscoring their opponents nearly four-to-one, it seems only Patterson Mill can get in its own way of finishing-off the 2011 strong.
“I think it is things that we do in practice show up in games,” Roseland said of the Husky success. “It is the pickoff situations, we have executed four or five run-downs, that’s helping us stay out of the big inning, and anytime you do that, you have a good chance of winning.
“Anytime you put a good group of seniors and juniors together, anything can happen. We have been fortunate to have some of these guys together for three or four years, and that time spent together are paying off now.”
Patterson Mill’s next game comes against the Rising Sun Tigers on Friday, weather pending, and hold an anticipated match-up with Bel Air on May 6.