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WLNG
March 29, 2006

Clippers Look To Continue Winning Tradition


For the past six seasons, the Southold/Greenport baseball team has done nothing but positive things. Six seasons; six playoff appearances and mixed in are various accolades such as last season's League VIII title, which the Clippers shared with the Mattituck Tuckers.

And with Mike Carver resuming the head coaching duties after a one year hiatus along with the return of several top players from last season, Southold/Greenport's chances of making the postseason are once again positive.

Although the Clippers graduated their pair of aces in pitchers Ben Wenczel and Joe Sawicki, who also happened to be the team's best two hitters, last spring, the return of senior pitcher/shortstop Kyle Charters and junior pitcher/first baseman Dave Kubiak help Southold/Greenport fans breathe a sigh of relief.

Kubiak had the second highest batting average of any Clippers hitters last season, belting out an impressive .411 statistic and his 21 RBI ranked third on the team behind Sawicki and Wenczel.

Charters hit .322 and was fifth on the team in RBI but what was more important was what he brought to the mound. On 26 innings, Charters struck out 24 batters and posted a 3.11 ERA. He also was unbeaten with a record of 3-0.

Senior centerfielder Derek Genoino batted .340 last season and was fourth on the team in RBI. Judging by his recent performance in a 14-13 non-league loss to Mattituck on Saturday, he appears to be headed for the kind of season summed up in one word: "monster."

Genoino went 2-for-4 with two home runs, including a mammoth grand slam and finished with 7 RBI. His teammate, newcomer Ryan Osmer, another senior who opted to play this season despite not having played last year, wasted little time in showing what he's capable of as well.

Osmer blasted a pair of home runs against Mattituck on Saturday and his presence in the lineup along with his versatility to play outfield, infield and yes, even catcher immediately gives the team a high number of impact players.

Junior catcher Doug Conklin and senior outfielder Nick Koehler are both poised for breakthrough seasons as is senior infielder/pitcher Matt Hansen. Hansen had a few big games at the plate last season and he brings some terrific defensive skills to the table as well.

Multi-talented senior infielder/outfielder Corey Lamendola, fresh off a superb basketball season, should be at season form quickly and steadily improving junior first baseman Max Comando wields a great glove. Steve Webb should also see action in the Clippers outfield this season.

Southold/Greenport opens its regular season on Friday (3:45 p.m.) when the Clippers (16-5 last season) host Bishop McGann-Mercy in the first of a three-game series.

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