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IAC BASEBALL: NEWARK VALLEY LOOKS TO IMPROVE (2024-03-25)

Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — It was a tough season for the Newark Valley baseball team in 2023, but the Cardinals are hoping to see some improvement this time around.

Several players worked on their skills over the summer, competing in the Tri County Teener League. Playing out of Owego, the 16U and 14U teams won championships. The 16U squad, with several NV players on the roster, went 14-0.

“We are cautiously optimistic about this year’s season,” said coach Tim Pisarczyk. “We feel like we are in a competitive division this year with some key returning players — Ryan Rhodes, Will Craparo, Brandon Eynon, Josh Karp, and Gabe Merrill.

“We have a positive outlook on the season with the goal of making sectionals this year.”

NV, which went 2-13 overall, graduated just one key player in IAC first-team first baseman Derek Payne. Coming back are a six veterans and a half-dozen first-year players.

The current roster includes a pair of second-team all-stars in seniors Ryan Rhodes and Will Craparo. Look for Rhodes to pitch and play first base and shortstop, and Craparo to pitch, and play centerfield and fill in in the infield.

Also back are senior Matt Keller in the outfield and juniors Gabe Merrill at pitcher and third base, Brandon Eynon at pitcher and catcher, and Josh Karp at pitcher and infield.

The new faces include junior utility player Scott Wager, sophomores Brenton Payne, Issac Dunham, and Tim Wojtysiak, a pitcher/first baseman, and freshmen Josh Benjamin, an outfielder, and Chase Smolinsky, a pitcher/outfielder.

Senior George Jager will act as team manager.

Newark Valley begins its season Thursday with a road trip to Whitney Point.

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IN PHOTO: NV’s Gabe Merrill. ... TCSR STOCK PHOTO.

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