Ask any manager in any sport and they will tell you that the hardest thing to do is to win a championship. The second-hardest is to defend it the following season.
That is the challenge facing varsity baseball coach Mike Pienkos in the 2012 season as the , a fact he acknowledged was going to be difficult as he enters his 30th season as skipper.
“It’ll be tough,” he said after the Flyers took 4-2 split-squad scrimmage win at on March 19. “We have a very tough league; everybody’s good.”
By now final cuts have been made and the roster trimmed. Shortstop Terrence Connelly – a Garden City native himself – will be captaining nine of his classmates as all the juniors from the 2011 squad will be returning save Peter Barry.
When asked about his pitching staff, Pienkos strung together three words: “developing; it’s young” he said.
The newest arm is Aaron Fernandes, a senior who has never played a game for the Flyers before, having been injured the past three seasons. The righty figures to be an inning eater for Chaminade and tore threw the Garden City lineup during his start on March 19.
“We’re encouraged that he’s healthy this year and hopefully he will give us some innings,” Pienkos said. “He’s got a live arm.”