By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Since 1975, Bristol Eastern baseball coach has been there and done that on the diamond.
Since 1975, the Lancers have been one of the featured teams in all the Colonial Conference and the CCC South.
So if there is a model for evaluating talent in the league, the crafty Mike Giovinazzo is the guy who knows the league inside and out.
His squad has been in two state championships over the years with the Lancers winning it all in 1986.
Just as impressive, since 1981, the Lancers have won at least 10 or more games in all but two of those campaigns and that includes many playoff triumphs.
Success has been a staple of the program and this season, Giovinazzo could also envision a return trip to the playoffs with a sustained run.
That’s if all of the pieces fit together on this squad, that is.
“There’s definitely some potential,” said Giovinazzo of his team. “It’s a group that…they’re hard to get a read on. They have real good days and then they have days where they show their lack of experience.”
There’s an impressive senior core and more pitchers than you can shake a stick at on the roster but it’s that all important chemistry that Giovinazzo wants to see his squad play with.
When your team loaded with a boatload of seniors, their experience has to count for something.
The pitching staff features Tyler Ropp, Mike Nocera, Nick Plachno and Ryan Chiasson – an all senior group – which was responsible for nine of Eastern’s 10 victories in 2012.
Opponents can see what the Lancers’ team could be behind that pitching and defense.
The critical element will be in the offense and if the group could gel hitting the ball, Eastern could be one of the top teams in all of the CCC South.
“I think the talent is really there to compete,” said Giovinazzo. “I don’t know if we’re an upper echelon team yet but, like I said, if this pitching comes around and we find a few good hitters to go with those guys, Eastern could be a dangerous team later on in the year.”