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Glenbard East veterans create excitement in baseball program

GENEVA – It was a disappointing season for Glenbard East baseball, but in a way it still showed the progress of the program.

Following a 2-1 loss to St. Charles East on May 23 in a Class 4A regional semifinal at Geneva, the Rams finished the season 13-23. The final record fell short of early season hopes after returning a lot of key seniors from a team that held winning records in the DuPage Valley Conference and overall in 2012.

The progress obviously isn’t in the record. It’s in the fact that the Rams are disappointed with a season that could have been more.

“Other coaches knew when they play Glenbard East they’re going to be in a battle and they can’t overlook us,” said Rams coach Joel Pelland. “I think the season overall just showed how competitive that we were. If you look at the box scores we lost 23 games, but 10 of those games were by two runs or less.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get that hit or that one pitch or that one play.”

The playoff loss to the Saints was a microcosm of the season. The Rams entered the sixth inning tied at 1-1 and lost after surrendering a run in the sixth inning. Nick Vichio’s memorable career came to an end after another quality start.

Vichio and D.J. Spears were the Rams’ two all-conference selections in the DVC. Joe Kotch and Yoanny Gonzalez each received honorable mention recognition.

All four are part of a senior core that also included Mike Hansen, Danny Ryan and Greg Ludwig. Pelland commended the seniors for moving the program forward over the past two seasons.

“This senior group created excitement in the program,” Pelland said. “I think they did a good job getting those younger kids to be excited about playing Glenbard East baseball and I couldn’t ask for two better groups of kids between this year’s seniors and last year’s seniors to hopefully start building a program that’s going to be successful. It’s going to take time like anything does, but I think this group of seniors really showed what this program could be as far as competitiveness and not being overlooked.”

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