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By Nick Stevens
BROADWAY - The 2018 season was a big year for the Broadway Bruins and 2019 looks to be even bigger. After piling up 18 regular season wins (18-10 overall record) and featuring one of the top pitching staffs in the RCBL, the Bruins bring back a solid corps of veterans to lead the way this season.
New head coach Bryan Duff believes his Bruins are ready to make a title run in 2019.
“We honestly felt that we should have had a better ending to last year and were disappointed as to how it all ended. We only have one goal in mind and that's to win a title.” said Duff.
Familiar names will make their way back to the Bruins’ roster in 2019, veterans like John Judy, Cole Holsinger, Tanner Skidmore, and Bryce Strawderman all return. Judy, Holsinger, and Strawderman combined for 62 hits last season and will look to build on that success.
They have plenty of help on the way, including Page County High School standout Tristan Gordan and James Madison University infielder Noah Cornwell. Salem University teammates Tyler Ault and Austin Whetzel also join the Broadway lineup. The duo both hit over .300 this season for Salem and combined for 22 doubles and 17 home runs.
The Bruins finished 2018 with a 4.02 team ERA, good for second best in the RCBL. Holsinger (3-2, 2.58 ERA, 47 strikeouts) and Skidmore (38 strikeouts in 30 innings) logged the most innings on that pitching staff and will have plenty of help on the mound this year. Zach Hall joins Broadway after spending the last two seasons with the Elkton Blue Sox. He was an RCBL All-Star in 2017 with Elkton.
“We should be playing with a chip on our shoulder. We've come a long way as to what this team and organization used to be. The way it ended last year, we should be hungry and determined to make a run at the title.” said Duff. “I honestly feel we should have one of the best defensive teams in the RCBL. We should also be able to score more than we had in the past.. We have a lot of speed and have added some power to bolster the line-up as well.”
Maintaining a group of veterans is critical to having success in the RCBL. With a group of proven veterans coming back and a strong mix of new talent with a track record of success at the collegiate level, the goal of winning an RCBL title in 2019 is a realistic one.
Broadway will kick off their season on Saturday, May 18, when they travel to Rebel Park to take on the New Market Shockers.