The Suffolk CCC Sharks baseball team is off to a hot start thanks to a host of tight-knit sophomores and a dependable pitching staff.
Michael Bovenzi (1-0 with a save and 0.90 ERA), Nicholas Morena (2-2 with a save and a 2.00 ERA), Tyler Schmid (1-0, 15 Ks in 13 IP) and Ryan Steffens (1-1) help make up a pitching staff that has guided the Sharks to a 7-3 overall record and a 1-0 record in Region XV.
“We have a solid core of pitchers and the team chemistry is great with them,” coach Brian Klammer said. “They’re just a great group of guys.”
The Sharks are also excelling at the plate. As a team, Suffolk is hitting .279 with 12 home runs and averaging 5.9 runs per game. College of St. Rose transfer Anthony Scheller is hitting .280 with seven runs and four RBIs in eight games and returning sophomore catcher and captain Jeffrey Towle is 8-for-19 with three homers and eight RBIs in six games. Freshman infielder Robert Rodriguez is the leadoff man and is off to a hot start for the Sharks, hitting 11-for-32 with two homers and eight RBIs in 10 games, including going 3-for-3 in a 10-0 win over Monroe CC in the Sharks’ Region XV opener on March 20.
“It’s great to see everyone contribute,” Klammer said. “Four-year institutions love to recruit junior college guys because they have the necessary experience to come in and help their team right away.”
Klammer is in his first year as coach of the Sharks after replacing legendary coach Eric Brown. He was an assistant coach under Brown from 2002-2006 after finishing his playing career at Dowling College. He will look to imitate the success of his predecessor as Suffolk aims for a third consecutive Region XV title and possibly a trip to the NJCAA DIII World Series.
As for Towle and his teammates, the captain is optimistic of the Sharks’ chances.
“We have all the right pieces,” Towle said. “We just have to stay on track and keep this program going in the right direction.”