America's League

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Orleans Builds 2012 Team on Experience

06/13/2012 9:08 AM

Article By: CCBL Public Relations Office

     After dropping two successive playoff series to Y-D, the Firebirds are more determined than ever to go the distance in the post-season and win their third CCBL Championship since 2000.  

     Skipper Kelly Nicholson and his staff have assembled a talented team of Firebirds veterans, including Jake Hernandez (University of Southern California), Trevor Gott (Kentucky); Anthony Gomez (Vanderbilt) University; Reed Gragnani (Virginia); and Kyle Hunter (Dartmouth).  

     Gott was the league leader in saves last season, while Hernandez, whose 2011 season was shortened by injury, will return after a  strong college season.

      Gomez, named to All-Tournament Team at the Raleigh Regional this spring, had a stellar season for the Commodores that included a 13-game hitting streak and also saw the infielder move up to fourth on Vanderbilt’s All-Time Leader list in career hits (267), surpassing former teammate and fellow CCBL Alum Aaron Westlake’s (Chatham 2010) collegiate total of 263 hits.

     Newcomers to the Firebirds include J.T. Riddle (Kentucky), Dominic Ficociello, (Arkansas); Jay Gonzalez (Auburn), relief pitcher Brandon McNitt (Stony Brook), and Matt Troup (Arizona). Riddle, Ficociello, and Gonzalez provide the Firebirds depth both in the field and at the plate after strong performances at their respective universities.

     The Firebirds open their season at home on June 14th against the Brewster Whitecaps, at 7:00 p.m. at Eldredge Park.