Six of Covington’s final eight games of 2015 were decided by one run in an entertaining season that saw the Lumberjacks edge Charlottesville 6-5 in a play-in game before taking division champ Staunton the distance in the playoffs.
2015 Record: 18-24 (4th in South Division, won playoff tiebreaker over Charlottesville)
2015 Playoffs: Lost quarterfinals in three games to Staunton
VBL Championships: 2 (2005, 2011)
Pennants: 3 (2001 (South), 2002 (South), 2005 (South))
Returning Players: The Lumberjacks will have a familiarity in the infield with several starters returning, along with catcher/infielder Lee Lipinski (Rider University). Second baseman/shortstop Jose Carrera was a 2015 VBL All-Star and is hitting .306 for Manhattan this spring. Another returning Valley League All-Star is Lynn University’s Jonathan Corbitt, a collegiate catcher who also saw time at first base for the Lumberjacks. Shortstop Brian Gonzales of Florida Memorial is also back; he hit .269 last summer for Covington.
Key Players/Outlook: Joining Covington’s veterans as key cogs in the lineup this summer will be Miguel Reyes and Javoni Thomas from Lindsay Wilson College. Reyes is batting .316 with 7 HRs and 32 RBIs.
The Lumberjacks are loaded at catcher as Fabian Pena joins the mix as well. Pena has started all 51 games as a freshman for Manhattan while hitting .344 with 7 HRs and 47 RBIs.
The pitching staff features Andrew Stout, who is 8-1 with 70 strikeouts in 13 starts for Southeastern Community College. Jason Polgano is 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA for Felician University and has also hit .343 with 6 HRs and 34 RBIs this college season.
Ballpark: The Lumberjacks play at Covington’s city stadium- Casey Field- which has held both baseball and football contests since 1962. In the past, the park has hosted minor league affiliates of both the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros.
Head Coach: After two seasons as an assistant in Covington, Stock Ramirez takes over head duties in 2016. He is currently training to become a pro scout.
Coach’s Comments: “This season we are looking to get off to a better start and make sure the players work towards getting better every day.”