Griswold baseball team looks to rebuild with players new to varsity

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Tue., Apr. 9, 2013
Griswiold first baseman Joe Gregory scrambles for a throw to call back a Bacon Academy base-runner. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Griswiold first baseman Joe Gregory scrambles for a throw to call back a Bacon Academy base-runner. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

After losing six seniors to graduation, including All-State third baseman Zack Wood, Griswold head varsity baseball coach Chip Rourke admits that this year’s Wolverine sluggers aren’t just wearing green. “I don’t really like to say it’s a rebuilding year, but we don’t have many kids back who have varsity experience,” said Rourke. “We’re very young.” He plans to look to his three varsity returnees – senior catcher Kyle Dombrowski, senior center fielder Jordan Gionet and junior Adam Davis, who plays left field – for leadership on this season’s squad.

Sophomore Evan Dunham, who moved back into the school district this year after several years away, is new to the team, said Rourke. Dunham does double duty on the pitching mound and in the outfield, and pitched in the Wolverines’ home opener against Bacon. Rourke said that Dunham’s strong pitching performance was not evidenced by the 11-1 score in that game; “our defense definitely let him down,” he said.

Senior Mitch Tetreault, who pitched a little in varsity last year, should be seeing some more time on the mound this season, said Rourke. He, too, clocked a strong premier performance, in the squad’s first away game against Norwich Tech. “He threw well, well enough to win,” said Rourke. “He gave up three runs, all of them unearned.” Unfortunately, the Wolverine offense fell short in that match, losing to Tech 3-2. “We couldn’t get the big hit, the RBI, which is indicative of a young team,” Rourke said.

Another potential standout is Jesus Garcia, a junior, the starting shortstop. “He could be successful,” Rourke said. “He’s got a lot of work to do, mentally more so than physically.”

One promising note for the season is the high turnout of freshmen for the JV squad, Rourke said. “In the next year or two, when those guys are juniors, hopefully they can develop and become really good athletes,” he said.

This week the varsity squad takes advantage of spring break to squeeze in three games: April 16 at East Lyme, followed by two home games, April 18 at 3:45 against Stonington and April 19 at 11 a.m. against Norwich Free Academy. “We’ve got a tough two weeks ahead of us,” Rourke said.

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