Photo by Hunter Franklin ’19 | Baseball player Tommy Trudeau ’18 pitched against North Canyon Friday, Feb. 26, 2016.
By Jack Davis ’19
With the graduations of Chad McClanahan ’16, JJ Hessel ’16 and more, the Broncos are without a player who has hit a homerun at the varsity level as they prepare to kick off the 2017 season Feb. 22 in the Adam Donnenfield Memorial Tournament.
Head coach Mr. Tom Succow said that the team’s returning pitchers will ease the transition.
“We have some seniors coming back who threw a number of innings last year,” Mr. Succow said. “Frank Allman ’17 was our best pitcher record-wise last year and did a great job as our No. 2 starter.”
Mr. Succow also said that Wyatt Maus ’17, Jake Vice ’17 and Brett Taylor ’17 will contribute on the mound.
Taylor said he agreed with his coach’s sentiment that pitching was the team’s forté.
“This year we’ll only have five seniors, four of whom can pitch, so that definitely will be a strong suit with three of them being starters,” Taylor said. “We have a lot of good, young arms coming up too.”
Despite the mature pitching staff, the roster is far from being set.
“We only have eight returning players from last year,” Mr. Succow said. “There will be some sophomores, more than likely, on the team this season and once we get some experience, we’ll start to grow.”
“We have a lot of work to do between now and then, I expect us to compete really well,” he added.
Taylor said that one area the team will focus on improving over the course of the season is batting.
“An area to build on would definitely be our hitting,” he said. “I feel like with tryouts coming up, the hitters become a lot better, starting to see live pitching through our live scrimmages.”
Experience will play a key part for Brophy this season, with five returning seniors ascending from reserve roles into the starting lineup.
“I’m looking for all of those seniors to take the leadership role,” Mr. Succow said.
Taylor said that the team doesn’t have a lot of star power but is capable of winning a lot of games if they play as a unit.
“We don’t really have any standout players,” he said. “If we all do our jobs and play together, we have a good shot of being really good this year.”
Four of the five returning seniors will operate from the mound, with the only exception being catcher Max Fees ’17.
Mr. Succow said that Fees was a source of motivation for the team last season.
“Fees was a tremendous leader in the dugout for us,” he said. “I expect him to be that leader again.”
Mr. Succow pointed to three returning juniors to make their mark on the team during this upcoming season.
One junior he said he expects to produce is Lucas Grennan ’18. Grennan, who because of an injury to Jake Lieberman ’16 during the team’s 2016 season opener, started predominantly the rest of the season at second base.
“He got better and better each game last year,” Mr. Succow said of Grennan.
Mr. Succow said that Nick Tiedemann ’18 has the potential to be an impactful player as he begins his junior season.
“I’m looking for Nick Tiedemann, who didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, to be a big-time breakout player this season,” he said.
Mr. Succow also pointed to Tommy Trudeau ’18 as a candidate to perform well.
“I’m looking for Tommy Trudeau to step it up, he’ll play first base when he isn’t pitching,” he said.
After 700 plus wins and 40 years at Brophy, head coach Mr. Succow is stepping down and will retire at the end of the season.
Taylor said that the team will be working hard to make sure Mr. Succow goes out on top.
“By doing our jobs and playing well, we’ll have a really good shot of going far in the playoffs and making it a good one to remember for him,” Taylor said.