On the Bump: Layton Tromba
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hi Gent fans and welcome back to the third week of “On the Bump” which will feature a quick overview of this past weeks practices, a preview of the 2015 Gents pitchers and catchers.

MLK day was a holiday on Monday so we got a real good practice in.  We went over a lot of the different parts of the system we run offensively and defensively.  I thought we did okay.  It could’ve been crisper but I thought we at least learned from our mistakes as it improved later in the week.  Thursday and Friday were real wet so we just had some different individual things we took care of before our intersquad on Saturday.

Saturday’s intersquad was pretty solid in all phases of the game, I thought.  We played the game the right way, and there was solid pitching, hitting, and defense throughout the day.  The best thing from Saturday was the competitive nature I felt during the games.  It was a close game and ended up 6-4. I thought everyone really played hard and were in it throughout, which is going to be vital to our success this year.  We have to remind ourselves games aren’t won or lost in the last inning.  Sometimes it’s those chances that are there early in the game and aren’t cashed in are difference makers.  I think our guys get that and we are going to do a great job of playing all nine innings this season.

Now, I want to talk about our pitching staff and our two catchers for 2015.  I’m going to name the staff and share some nicknames since this is the group I am around the majority of the time.  I’m going to list out the names of the guys on our staff and what we call each other and then I will talk briefly about them. The pitcher’s are:

Taylor Henry—T-Hen—Senior

Holden Novak—Noooovi—Junior

Layton Tromba—Trombs—Senior

Paul Arcement—Pauldo—Junior 

Jake McFarland—Grandpa Farley—Senior

Trey Guccione—Tha Goooch—Senior 

Dustin Dalton—The Deputy—Senior 

Devin Bench—Menchyy—Junior 

Matthew Posey—Tha “Fuzz”—Senior

Kaleb Kirk—Kirkyy—Freshman

Michael Francis—Francyy—Freshman

Grant Debevec—Debbie Cakes or Ranger Rick—Sophomore

Merek Holzrichter—Holzziiii—Freshman

Going into this season, I really feel like we have a deep, talented staff.  There is so much potential on this staff and I’m anxious to get out there and see what we can do.  We understand that being a winning baseball team all starts on the mound and I think we can be a great pitching staff from top to bottom.  Our two starters that we know of as of now are Holden Novak and myself. The third starter as of now is still being determined along with what roles some of the relievers will be in when February 6th is here. 

Although we are not sure about who will fill those roles, we are confident any of the boys can get the job done.  T-Hen has been a solid pitcher for quite some time going back into our Airline High School days together and he is a talented lefty who fits in well in any role.  We have Paul Arcement who was another key pitcher for us last year, a hard throwing righty with a good slider and great arm and work ethic.  We have Jake McFarland who is coming off surgery. He is a really hard worker and a strike thrower who is ready to battle in whatever roll he’s in. Grant is a righty with great stuff and has been a starter and reliever for us before.

Dustin is a lefty that competes on the mound and was a situational guy last season.  He came in to face good left-handed hitters and was effective.  Matt Posey commands the strike zone well and uses his great changeup to get hitters off balance.  Trey Guccione is a righty with a dropped down arm slot and he works to keep hitters off balance. He uses his competitiveness to his advantage on the mound.

Devin Bench has a great slider he can use in any count so he will be a big part of our team this year also.

The newcomers also will play a big role on this year’s team. Kaleb Kirk is still battling it out for the last spot in the rotation and has good command of his pitches.  Michael Francis is a strike thrower as well as Merek Holzrichter and they can control multiple pitches.  The most important thing in pitching is strike one and fastball command.  If you can have both of those things going for you, it will be hard not to be effective.  Walks and falling behind hitters kills a team.  I think we have a group that can control the game and put us where we want to be.

Both of the catchers on the 2015 Gents are freshman, but we are so excited to have them both with us.  Chris Zapata or “Zap” is going to be behind the plate for us to start the season and has a ton of talent with the glove and the bat.  He is a solid catcher that works hard behind the plate and communicates on the field.  He’s got a cannon behind the plate and really makes it easy on us as pitcher’s to focus on the hitter and be confident he can gun anyone out.

Nick Delaneuville also known as “Booda” is a solid catcher for us as well.  The Riverside, Louisiana native is a great target to pitch too.  He is setup perfect with that low target that is so important because pitcher’s are most effective when they are working the bottom part of the strike zone.  He gets rid of the ball quick to second base and can control the game well.  He has a good approach at the plate as well as trying to use all parts of the field. 

We love for our catcher’s to swing the bats, but they know the most important part of their game is defense.  They do a great job of it and are only going to get better with experience as we play more and more games. It’s vital that catcher’s take control because they can see everything from their position.  There is a ton of responsibility as catching is one of the most important postions on any team, but I’m pumped to see what Zap and Booda can do for us.

This week coming up, we will continue practice and getting geared up during the season.  I am so excited about the unity on this year’s team.  We have great team chemistry and I strongly believe that’s going to contribute to our success this season. It’s going to be a big year for us if we continue to work hard and play the game the right way for all nine innings. Until next time, Go Gents!!!

-Layton Tromba