Baseball Preview: Father Gabriel Richard features strong defense, pitching depth

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Team play and quality baseball is at the heart of what the Fighting Irish hope to accomplish this season.

“Longevity – I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve stayed significant,” Father Gabriel Richard head baseball coach Greg Lenhoff says. “We’re not in the easiest division in the world. The last five years there’s been a state champion from our division, but we’re playing good baseball in this division.”

This season, Lenhoff feels optimistic about his team’s defense and the depth in their pitching rotation, with 10 kids who can throw and seven whose fastballs are clocking in at low to mid 80s.

Six-foot-seven senior, Max Moon (LHP), will start out the season as the team’s ace. Conor Ostrowski, who “really came through last year,” according to Lehoff, will handle the No. 2 spot on the mound.

The Irish are strongest up the middle with seniors Matt Granzotto (SS) and Micheal Engelhart (2B). Granzotto will take his talents to Hillsdale College next year on scholarship and Engelhart is looking to play at Northwood University. Both have competed with the varsity squad since they were freshmen.

READ A FEATURE STORY ON MATT GRANZOTTO: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/04/18/player-profile-senior-shortstop-matt-granzotto-is-ready-to-lead-fighting-irish/

Senior, Ian Renfer, will start behind the plate.

“This will be his year,” Lenhoff says. Renfer plans on continuing his career at Trine University in Angola, IN, next year.

Steven McGlade will also take innings behind the plate and his older brother, Scott McGlade, is set to start at third base.

Rounding out the lineup are seniors, Tom Carvill (LF) and Tyler Herman (RF).

“They’ve worked hard, they’re good kids and they’ve been biding their time until spots opened up,” Lenhoff says.

The quality of this year’s Fighting Irish roster is solid top to bottom and if they play as a team, they’re sure to succeed.

“I’m optimistic about our potential,” Lenhoff says. “This is a team without a superstar, but they are all better than average baseball players. They can win as long as they play together.”

Richard hopes to take home the Catholic League crown, a difficult feat given the worthy opponents on schedule, and then make a run through the state tournament.

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