MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Matt Mezansky and his teammates, especially the seniors, begin the 2012 Mamaroneck varsity baseball season wanting one thing -- a New York State championship.
In 2008 and 09 Mezansky witnessed older brother Nick win Class AA state titles as a member of the Mamaroneck squad. He recalled the enthusiasm and excitement his brother felt on those Saturdays
When you talk about Mamaroneck baseball, you talk about the state championship teams in 2008 and 09, said Mezansky, the third brother to play for the Tigers, along with Nick and oldest brother Mike. Those teams set the standard.
The Tigers enter the 2012 season as one of the favorites, once again, to play for the championship in June. Mamaroneck, which has lost in the semifinals the last two years, was seeded first in the 2011 Section 1 Class AA championships. However, Fox Lane surprised Mamaroneck. It was the Tigers only loss to a New York team.
We felt Fox Lane was a team we were capable of beating, but they were a better team that day, said Mezansky, who returns to third base. Our bats were not there and our gloves were not as on as we should have been. It was an empty feeling, but we realized we have to show up every day and work hard.
Mamaroneck returns a core group of seniors who are impact players at their respective positions. Along with Mezansky, three-year starter Michael Presley is back and will be in right field. Brett Poniros is the second baseman and the duo of Parker Thelander and Mike Williams pitch and play the field.
Mezansky, who will play baseball at Franklin and Marshall next year, likes the all-around strength of Mamaroneck. The Tigers boast three high-caliber starters in Williams, who will play at Hamilton College next year, Thelander, who is going to Hobart to play quarterback, and junior Will Hoffman.
Our pitchers all throw in the 80s and they all pitched in big games, Mezansky said. Mike and Parker proved that, not only can they start a game, they can finish it, going seven strong. Our bats look good. We have a deep lineup and we feel we have guys who can come off the bench and hit.
Mamaroneck does plenty of hitting in practice. Between live batting practice, hitting off the tee and soft toss, Mezansky estimates that the team gets approximately 200 swings a day. This does not include the extra hitting individuals do prior to and after practice.
We have all been playing together since we were little and we always talked about playing together our senior year, Mezansky said. Our goal is to get past the semifinals, win a sectional title and get back to where Mamaroneck was in 08 and 09. There wouldnt be anything better than winning a state championship.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.