Young Knights start right

Published 10:33 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A youthful Suffolk Christian Academy baseball team started its 2015 season with a 12-1 victory over visiting Williamsburg Christian Academy on Tuesday.

Suffolk Christian Academy's Jon Joslin has a way of coming up big for the Knights, and they will benefit from his abilities once again this season.

Suffolk Christian Academy’s Jon Joslin has a way of coming up big for the Knights, and they will benefit from his abilities once again this season.

New Knights coach Tommy Moose said he was “obviously pleased to start the season with a win,” noting how young the team is this year. “We don’t have any seniors.”

Inclement weather prevented SCA from getting outside to practice for most of the preseason, limiting the degree to which the Knights could work on defensive skills. But after a single outdoor practice on Monday, they looked pretty good against the Eagles.

Email newsletter signup

“I thought we played well,” Moose said. “Our pitchers threw the ball extremely well. We only had one walk. Our defense played flawless.”

Suffolk Christian sophomore left-handed pitcher Ben Boomer got the win, striking out six and giving up only one hit in four innings. Junior Barton Metzgar pitched the game’s fifth and final inning, throwing two strikeouts and allowing no hits.

“Hitting was a little lacking,” Moose said, but he noted it’s early in the season.

The offensive standouts included junior Michael Cornette, with a double, two runs batted in and two runs scored, junior Shawn Moose, with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored and Metzgar, with two hits and three RBIs.

Suffolk Christian’s team this year is composed of seven sophomores, six juniors and four freshmen.

The group will be tasked with continuing a rich legacy established in recent years at SCA. The Knights have won the Hampton Roads Athletic Conference tournament the past two years.

Coach Moose, taking over for Orel Schleeper, has high expectations for the 2015 squad.

“As far as goals, obviously, we want to win the conference championship again,” he said. “I’d like to carry that on, the winning tradition.”

The Knights lost three key players from last year’s team due to gradation — Noah Nickert, Jared Lauver and Jeremy Blasiole — and senior John Porter will not be back due to a conflicting work schedule.

“We lost a lot,” Moose said, noting he has asked the question, “What do we have?”

The answer is some talented young freshmen, and he also said, “A few key guys are still back, so we’ve got some strength.”

Pitcher/shortstop Shawn Moose, last year’s HRAC Most Valuable Player, will continue to be key to Suffolk Christian’s efforts.

He will be one of his team’s main pitchers along with junior Trey Small, Cornette, Metzgar and Boomer.

Coach Moose expects some good competition to see who becomes the No. 1 pitcher.

Cornette, a center fielder, will essentially be the captain of the outfield.

“I expect him to be a strong player,” Coach Moose said.

Of Metzgar, Moose said, “He’s a (6-foot-6-inch) man-child,” receiving pitching training, and the coach added he is “excited to see how he develops.”

Sophomore Joel Blasiole is working with his own private coach to develop him as a catcher. Moose said Blasiole looked strong on Tuesday.

“Jared (Lauver) was a really good catcher, that was a big hole to fill,” Moose said.

Sophomore Jon Joslin returns this year, looking to continue his habit of clutch hitting.

“He seems to get key hits at key times,” Moose said. “Jon Joslin will be a key role player for us.”

Suffolk Christian (1-0) visits Virginia Beach Friends School on Tuesday.