Zanoli brings winning attitude to team

Varsity baseball looks to rebound after poor 2017 season

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Zanoli brings winning attitude to team

(BRIAN NUEVO/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(BRIAN NUEVO/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(BRIAN NUEVO/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(BRIAN NUEVO/EYE OF THE TIGER)

COOPER BADDLEY

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As winter sports end and spring sports begin, the Roseville varsity baseball team gears up for another season. After two consecutive rebuild years, the Tigers are looking to turn this season into one that rivals their 2015 championship season.

The team has lost some of their bigger offensive weapons in Cameron Anderson and Nick Tucker, but has added a stronger bullpen and defense with the addition of underclassmen Josh Alger and Brandon Renstrom. These players coupled with the new coach, Greg Zanoli, are the team’s new success formula for this season.

Senior infielder Blake Beaman feels that there is a different mentality coming into this year that is helping the team come together and play at a high level.

“We have a lot bigger focus on competition compared to last year,” Beaman said. “Everybody on this team, from the new players to the four-year seniors are here for one reason, and that is to win a championship We all saw the team win it our freshman year and now this is our last chance to reach that level.”

Despite the fact that last season went poorly for the Tigers, many players feel that they are ready for a quick rebound, and they accredit this to the new mentality instilled by first year head coach Greg Zanoli.

Senior center fielder Joe Cirrincione thinks this new mentality is due to the new coach.

“[Zanoli] pushes us hard in practice and focuses on in-game situations in order for us to be better prepared for game day,” Cirrincione said. “Because we work on game-like situations in practice, it really gets us ready for the real thing, and we aren’t just hitting batting practice or fielding ground balls.”

Zanoli coached for the Oakmont Vikings last year and won the CVC, which Cirincione feels makes the team work harder for him.

“We know he knows how to win and that has allowed everybody to overlook any season doubts a team could have, and we are definitely taking nothing for granted,” Cirrincione said. “We are focused on winning and have one common goal, which brought us together.”

Zanoli feels that the team-first attitude is the most valuable thing he brought with him from his previous coaching jobs.

“I don’t know if we are doing anything differently than previous years, but we are focusing on fundamentals and a team approach,” Zanoli said. “The boys seem to be buying in thus far.”

With his experience as a pitching coach, Zanoli also brings a more pitching and defense minded practice system.

“I think a lot of coaches at the high school level only want to focus on batting, and thats not all it takes to be succesful,” Zanoli said. “If you want to be a championship caliber team you have to have a good balance of offense, defense, and team chemistry, and I think that philosophy has trickeled down to the players a little bit.”

The Tigers are off to a good start. As of last Friday, the team had a record of 5-0-1 while outscoring their opponents 49-3, and an impressive eight runs per game, a large improvment from the three per game clip from last season.