The Sussex County Community College baseball team may be small in numbers, but when it comes to their goals, the bar for success is large.
“It’s tough to say who our key players are this year because we have a small roster,” said coach Ramadan Mehmedi, who counts 15 players on his team. “So honestly our key players is all 15 because we need these players to step up every game and be ready to contribute.”
And that’s exactly what’s been happening, offensively and defensively. After a slow start that took the team to Florida for a sunny road trip, things have turned around. Through Monday SCCC had reeled off six wins in a row, its record climbing above .500 to 7-6, with games this week against Middlesex County Community College, Ulster County Community College and Mercer County CC.
“Our goals are really simple this year and that’s to stay at .500 or better so we can make it into the region tournament,” said Mehmedi. “To do that we have to go into each and every game giving it a Perfect Effort because that’s the only thing we can control in a baseball game.”
Mehmedi noted that over the past several games the team has been playing extremely well, all while countering opponents’ smirks.
“We have shown a lot of pride in what we do because we can hear whispers about our small team but we don’t care what is being said!” said the coach. “The bond these young student-athletes have showed thus far can speak loud in the way the fought back from a 1-6 record getting mercy ruled 5 times in that stretch. They could have folded and not care and make excuses of the numbers but NOPE… they picked their heads up and did only what myself and the coaching staff believed they could do, We knew they were good.”
Cliches, perhaps, but Mehmedi declares that his team has HEART, HUSTLE, and PRIDE!
“Our goal is to keep that going and continue to prove that we have a big bite!” he added.
The coach, however, knows that it takes more than that.
“We’ve still got to get more experience on the field,” he said. “Because of our low numbers freshman players are getting at bats and innings that they wouldn’t normally see with say a normal 25 man roster. Although we do have a very solid sophomore class that has some players who’ve had minimal success last year and have jumped forward to lead these kids into every game and understand that roster size doesn’t mean anything because only nine players are allowed on the field at one time.”
SCCC features nine freshmen and six sophomores on the roster. Freshmen include Matt Magura, Justin Smith, Peter Ferony, Jon Pezzato, Brenden Gerity,Jared Quintero, Vinny Rotundo, Tyler Nichols, and Miguel Zorrillo. Sophomore players are Nick McWilliams, Moises Rogue, Bill Sabo, Tom Dolaghan.
Picture: The Men’s Baseball team during their practice.