LYNN — After reaching the Division 4 North state tournament last season, the Lynn Tech baseball team has every reason to feel optimistic moving forward.
Tigers coach Rich Germano took over the program last season with the goal of moving Tech in the right direction. Germano feels the team’s getting there.
“I think last season was a start,” Germano said. “We’re still trying to get the program moving in the right direction. I wish we played a more competitive game in the state tournament (16-0 loss to sectional champion Hamilton-Wenham). We probably should’ve been a higher seed. We’re moving in the right direction, I feel. We’re looking forward to this season.”
But with a new season around the corner, the Tigers are tasked with turning the page on last season’s success and taking things one step further in 2019. So far, Germano has seen positive signs through the preseason.
“It was a little slow starting out but we’re getting there,” Germano said. “We have four starting seniors that are returning. We’re just trying to get better. We have some freshmen this year, as we did last year. We also have a few sophomores who return from last season’s team.”
On the mound, Tech returns last season’s ace in senior right-hander Johan Ortega.
“I’m excited for Johan,” Germano said. “I talked to him Friday with some of the other seniors. I’ve had him for a while, he’s been a captain for three years. I’m excited for him to have a big senior year.”
Others who’ll log innings on the mound are senior right-hander Kenny Moore, sophomore right-handers Jordanny Diaz and Jared Moore, and junior left-hander Bryce Whitcomb.
“I feel great about our pitchers,” Germano said. “We only lost one starter from last year’s team, Serey Eang. He was our catcher. That’s a big hole to fill but I feel we’re working on it.”
Offensively, Moore projects to be Tech’s leadoff hitter with Ortega following in the No. 2 slot. Byron Hernandez (junior third baseman/outfielder), Chris Tejada (senior second baseman/outfielder), Edward Cuevas (senior first baseman), Dom Gioidano (freshman third baseman) and Ben Tartarini (freshman third baseman/outfielder) will also be relied on to help produce runs.
“We still have a strong batting order,” Germano said. “We just have to plug our players in the right spots and find some chemistry. We have a couple freshmen that are close to breaking through.
“We only had one scrimmage and we did OK,” Germano said. “I think we’re going to be great once the season starts and the guys start clicking together. It’s just about finding the right mixture. We have the talent there.”
Germano foresees a competitive road ahead in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small Division.
“The CAC Small added Nashoba Valley, which is a pretty good sized school,” Germano said. “Last year we tied with Mystic Valley but lost because of the overall runs scored. I think we have a really good shot to compete this season.”
Tech opens the season Thursday afternoon (4) when the Tigers host Essex Tech at Fraser Field.
“The kids are excited. Essex Tech’s very well coached. We played them last year. We play Thursday, Saturday and Monday. We play Matignon twice and Essex Tech once. We have a tough road out of the gate.”