Q & A With Behrend Lions Baseball Coach Paul Benim
What are your general thoughts on how the season started down in Florida and where do you feel like your team stands right now?
Our staff felt we were prepared entering our spring
trip. Our players executed at a high level during the week and
most importantly played very hard between the lines. Our starting
pitching was led by three seniors and a talented freshman who
competed and gave us an opportunity to succeed in all eight of the
starts. We trailed in several of the games we played and
offensively we proved to be very resilient thanks to our
experienced line-up. We need to play better team defense, but
believe we are moving in the right direction.
Who is performing particularly well for the team right now?
We received contributions from several players. Dustin Dubensky, Josh Fyffe, Jon Gray and Ryan Liddle were as good as we expected. They each provided the team with a lift during the week and had several key at-bats where they produced. In addition to the seniors, our junior class made positive things happen in the Florida sun. Ed Kessler, Kyle Kline, Geoff Lang, Andy Kountz, Harry Latta, Blake Pavlik, and Ryan Zamiskie were instrumental in the program’s success. They gave us quality at-bats and several good bullpen innings with Zamiskie and Kountz closing out three games.
What does the AMCC look like this season? How do you think you will fare against conference competition?
The AMCC is a very competitive league and there are few secrets. Teams come to play and we need to because it will be a challenge in 2010. The preseason honors from the league coaches and d3baseball.com are very nice. We need to be prepared to elevate our game against the conference teams. It is very tough for any program to go 17-1 or 16-2 against the league schedule, so we want to finish strong in the postseason.
Has anybody really surprised you with what they brought
back from the offseason?
Performance wise we had some guys come off the bench to give us a boost. The arms coming out of the pen also proved they could compete. We had several players thrust into some spots they have not been in before and they handled themselves very well.
What is the biggest challenge as your team returns home and prepares for the heart of your schedule?
We just need to keep grinding at it. Mentally our players have to be tough. Often it is a challenge to not always know when the next contest will be and juggling the demands of school, ball, and real life. We are fortunate to have such a terrific group of young people on our team that really enjoy being in the program and playing together.
What are your expectations for the end of the season and
into the postseason?
Our goal is to compete to win the AMCC championship. In addition, we strive to do well in the extended postseason. We expect our players to stay in the present moment and play one pitch at a time and simply put...enjoy the game!