By Greg Klein
The Daily Star
---- — There’s a new Dubben in charge of Cherry Valley-Springfield baseball, but that doesn’t mean things will change much for the Patriots.
Tim Dubben, who coached modified baseball for eight years, has taken over as varsity coach of CV-S for big brother Ed, who retired last year after three straight Tri-Valley League titles and five in 10 years.
“Ed had a system in place and we’re keeping the same system,” the younger Dubben said.
Unfortunately for Tim Dubben, the Patriots lost some key players to graduation. Among the departed are starting pitchers Brett Adams, Andrew Bosc and Scott Stiles. Adams, who also played first base, was the winning pitcher in the last three T-V championship games.
Spencer Supak, Jon French, Tristan Fralick and Andrew Spencer are the only four returning starters, and former reserve Shawn Lowry likely will have a big role this season.
Junior right-hander French will take over for Adams as the Patriots No. 1 pitcher.
“He’s got a good fastball and a good curveball,” Tim Dubben said. “We’ve got about seven pitchers overall, including two lefties in senior Austin Yaw and freshman Ethan Johnson.”
Lowry also will pitch and play first base. Spencer and Supak return at third base and shortstop, respectively, as key holdovers who will anchor the Patriot infield.
Fralick, who played outfield last season, will catch this spring. Senior Justin Monahan and Johnson are expected to start in the outfield.
Tim Dubben said CV-S needed time last season to adjust to the new bats — ones with less pop that were required statewide — and added that some teams will continue to struggle offensively this spring.
“The way the bats are coming out, you can’t really hit for power anymore,” he said. “It will be about the same this year. We’ll probably play a little more small ball to make up for it.”
Last season, CV-S, Milford and Richfield Springs competed for the T-V East Division title until the last week of the regular season. While the Patriots ended up winning the division, the Wildcats and Indians went further in the Section Four Class D Tournament. RS reached the sectional championship game before losing to three-time champion Hancock.
Tim Dubben said the Wildcats and the Indians have most of their players returning this season.
“Our side of the league is going to be tough,” he said. “Schenevus is going to be good as well.”
Unlike the CV-S softball team, which is barely has enough players to field a team, the baseball team should be OK as far as numbers. Tim Dubben said he will keep 12 on varsity and recently sent three freshman back down to modified so they have a better opportunity to get playing time.
CV-S opens the season April 2 with a non-league home game against St. Johnsville. The Patriots start league play April 4 at Milford.
“It is going to be exciting,” Tim Dubben said. “The kids are working hard and are ready to play. It should be an interesting season.”