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Baseball preview capsules: Central Division

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  April 4, 2013 07:00 AM

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CENTRAL DIVISION

Boston International

Coach: Christian Irizarry (Ninth year)

Strengths: After reaching the semifinals of the state tournament last year, this team not only has post-season experience but also leadership with all of its returning players.

Concerns: While Irizarry thinks they will do well, one of the few areas Boston International lost depth in is its pitching staff. Irizarry said it would be a learning experience for them.

Outlook: Irizarry’s No. 1 goal for the team is that they have fun and continue to improve with most of his players returning next year.

However, after losing in the state tournament semifinal last year to Northeast Regional, the players have added a new goal for their season; win both the city and state tournament.

“That’s a goal they have put on, they’re hoping they can win the [city tournament] but we’re just going to work hard and have fun. That’s the main thing,” Irizarry said.

Returning starters: Freshman pitcher Pedro Peguero, sophomore pitcher Manuel Urena, sophomore infielder/outfielder Nelfry Velez, sophomore shortstop Frank Rosario, sophomore infielder Derlin Tejeda, freshman outfielder Alfredo Frias, freshman first baseman Randy Gonzales, freshman pitcher Christopher Reynoso, senior infielder Junior Perdomo.

O'Bryant

Coach: Theodore Curley (first year)

Last year: 4-12

Strengths: The team is returning two of their best pitchers so there will be some experience on the mound.

Concern: Depth will be a hard thing to manage for O’Bryant without a JV team. Curley expressed concern about the future of his program with a limited amount of underclassmen making the roster.

O’Bryant will also be trying out a new catcher, junior Jose Vasquez. He will need some games to build chemistry with his pitchers.

Outlook: Despite the lethargic record from last year, the enthusiasm on O’Bryant could not be any better. Curley said that energy among his players would never be a worry for this squad.

“I think we have shot of going over .500. I think that would be a reasonable expectation,” Curley said.

The coach added that this expectation could be met if the team improves on defense. This was one of the biggest problems for the squad last year.

Returning starters: Senior captain pitcher Brandon Ruiz, senior second baseman/outfielder Johnny Mejia, junior third baseman/pitcher/catcher Jose Vasquez, sophomore pitcher/shortstop/outfielder Fernando Burgos, sophomore first baseman Antonio Ortiz.

South Boston

Coach: Victor Pereira (sixth year)

Last year: 4-12

Strengths: Other teams will have to watch out for South Boston’s speed with the team getting multiple speedy athletes from the basketball team and football team.

Concern: The last few seasons, South Boston has graduated double-digit seniors so the team will be lacking in experience.

Outlook: With a lot of new players, Pereira is expecting a slow start to the season as a result of many players needing to make the big jump from JV to varsity.

The coach said it was too early to talk about qualifying for any postseason play but that getting better than the day before is always a goal.

Returning starters: Senior center fielder Aviel Collazosuentes, sophomore third baseman Kenneil Toney.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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