Redmen pitchers and catchers work out

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Mar. 21, 2011
Pitcher try-outs include balance drills. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Pitcher try-outs include balance drills. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Three days before the official start of spring, Killingly baseball coach Dan Vogt was putting eight pitchers and four catchers through some pre-season conditioning. Spread out in a wide line in the gym, the boys threw back and forth to each other. The snap of balls hitting leather gloves was as cheerful as the sun and 60-degree temperatures outside.

Vogt had invited these 12 players to pitchers and catchers week. “There are pretty strict rules for this week,” he said. The 12 players work out for 90 minutes a day. “Basically, this is a week for conditioning and going over throwing mechanics,” he said. “It's becoming a big issue in baseball, because there are so many arm injuries. They want to stress the mechanics.” So this week he'll work on form throwing, mechanics and conditioning with his players. Actual tryouts begin Monday, March 21.

Vogt called on his players to get down on one knee and pitch from that position. “Make an L shape with your arm,” he said, showing them what he wanted them to do. “Maintain it for a few seconds,” he said. They threw from their knees for several minutes.

“We have different drills to work on their mechanics,” Vogt said. “We have some balance drills and stuff like that. We try to correct some of their mechanical flaws, try to make sure they don't injure themselves. Some of these kids have been playing baseball for so long, it's tough to change some of their habits. We take what they have and take out anything we think is going to hurt them. Obviously, they're going to have their own personal style, which we don't want to mess with.”

Vogt had his pitchers work on balance, while his catchers suited up and performed their own set of conditioning exercises.

He anticipates he will have about six seniors on the 2011 squad. “We lost three of four starting pitchers, and we lost our starting catcher, so pitching/catching is going to be key for us,” Vogt said. “It's still up in the air who is going to be playing those positions. That will be the biggest decision. We have a young team.”

Vogt said his team will have a very difficult 20-game schedule. He feels confident about their chances with Norwich Tech and Windham Tech. “They're out-of-conference games, and we should do well,” he said. "But the schedule gets difficult after that.”

Vogt expects to have a three-man pitching rotation, with a couple of relief pitchers. There are three juniors in the running for the catcher position. “We're looking,” he said. “We'll see what happens.”

The Redmen will open their season on Wednesday, April 6, at Owen Bell Park. The season opener against Windham Tech will begin at 3:45 p.m.


Coach's Corner

Dan Vogt

Head Baseball Coach 10 seasons; Five seasons prior as JV coach.

“We missed the state tournament last year by one game and it was the first time in a long time we didn't make it. We're looking to get back into the state tournament this year.”

“We're excited to get started. Baseball has been one of the best and most consistent programs in Killingly and we want to bring some pride to the school and the athletic program. That's our motivation.”

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