EPHS nine begins 2022 Division I schedule

Townies enter baseball season with tempered expectations

Posted 4/14/22

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School baseball team began its 2022 Division I schedule over the last 10 days seeking another go-round in the league playoffs after finishing with a …

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EPHS nine begins 2022 Division I schedule

Townies enter baseball season with tempered expectations

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School baseball team began its 2022 Division I schedule over the last 10 days seeking another go-round in the league playoffs after finishing with a 6-7 regular season record and losing in the single-elimination preliminary round at the conclusion of the pandemic-abbreviated 2021 campaign.

Senior left-hander Elijah Barber returns to the fold as the No. 1 pitcher on the staff. He’s also a captain, will play first when not on the hill and hit in the top half of the lineup according to the EPHS head coach Bobby Rodericks.

Classmate Vin Enright, who led the team in RBI last spring, projects as the No. 3/4 hitter in the order, will play left field mostly and man first when Barber is dealing. Senior Matt McDuff plays third. Junior Jack McKnight is a co-captain and plays short while also batting at the top of the lineup. He’s the No. 2 starter in the rotation.

Sophomore Kyler Lorenz joins varsity full time and can play around the infield as does junior Ziurel Vargas, who also can play the outfield. Junior Manny “Chico” Santos begins as the starting catcher and will be either leadoff or bat second in the lineup.

Rodericks said seniors Jacob Palumbo and Dylan Palombo with likely see time as starting pitchers and in the bullpen. Jacob Palumbo should also be a regular in the outfield where he’s likely to be joined by sophomore Steven Estrella.

“As a program, we have three solid teams with freshman, JV and varsity,” said Rodericks, who enters his 11th season at the helm of the Townies. “Playoffs are always the goal for all teams. With varsity, we just hope we can win as many games as possible taking it one day at a time. If we develop a solid pitching rotation we have a good chance of having maximum success with the overall talent we have.”

Rodericks said there are “high expectations” for the ninth grade class he described as “extremely talented.” Among the top players entering the program from Martin and Riverside Middle Schools are Oliver “DJ” Andrews, Colin Roche, Brian Rutkowski, John Vaughan, James Lynch, Tim Robitaille, Dillon Vieira, Ben Sherman and Dylan Annicelli.

Rodericks is once again joined in the dugout by long-time assistant and JV head coach Chris Kennedy, also starting his 11th season. Ed Renaud enters his 10th spring as the varsity bench coach.

District educators Nick Karalekas, a former EPHS standout and a fourth grade instructor at Waddington Elementary, and TJ Lynch, a noted performer at South Kingstown and an EPHS PE/Health teacher, are new to the staff.

In addition former RMS head coach and Riverside Little League president Brian Rutkowski, an EPHS resource teacher, will be assuming freshmen coaching duties with the retirement of Frank DeVall.

— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com staff photographer Rich Dionne shot the accompanying gallery of photos.

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.