It’s a new era for Montville Baseball under first year head coach Jason DeVirgilio after long time coach Ian Schwindel stepped down after a successful career at the helm. The ‘Stangs are looking to make some noise and they have the firepower to do so. This year's squad is led by a strong rotation including senior co-captain Ryan Nieskens, Binghamton commit Ian Kaiser, and junior David Bettio. The offense also features some very exciting players such as co-captain BrianLovaglio (C), Karl Monaco (OF), and Nick Park (OF). It is an extremely well- rounded group that should flash both power and speed
I was fortunate enough to speak to co-captain Ryan Nieskens about what it means to be appointed captain after being in the program for the entirety of his high school career. “Being a captain for Coach D and the guys is a great privilege that I do not take lightly. It pushes me to work harder and always stay focused so I can set the tone for the team.” Nieskens had his first taste of varsity action sophomore year but had a much more expanded role last year. He talked about being someone the young guys in the program look up to. “A lot of responsibility comes with being a captain, but I believe Brian and I have been setting a positive example for the young guys to look up to.” Brian Lovaglio, the other senior captain, is one of the pillars of this team with his great play behind the plate and his leadership in working with the pitching staff.
Coach DeVirgilo has provided the program with a fresh upbeat energy and the players are gravitating towards that. Nieskens says, “It's only been a couple weeks, but you can already feel the major culture change. Every guy is excited to show up, have fun, and get better, so it is definitely something to be optimistic about.”
Not only does Montville have a strong senior class leading the way, they also have experienced underclassmen contributing as well. Kaiser, the star CF when not on the mound is a quiet leader who lets his play do the talking. Ryan Wehrle, an infielder, and Karl Monaco, who is another talented infielder, are also returning juniors who have experience at the varsity level. Christian Zurawlow, who looks to slot in at 2B this year, is also an up-and-coming player who will have an expanded role this year.
The Mustangs have a well rounded club and the confidence to make a run this year. One thing is certain, Coach D will have his guys ready to roll and fight until the last out.