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ROCHESTER — Five sophomores in the starting lineup.
Four sophomores occupying the top four spots in the batting order.
Youth may just define the 2013 Rochester High baseball team — for now, anyway.
By the end of the season, coach Eric Magiera hopes the definition is based on something more.
“We’re young, but with high expectations,” the Falcons skipper said last week. “There’s a lot of talent here, and by midseason, we hope to be hitting our stride.”
Rochester opened the season with four straight wins and was 6-2 at press time.
The offense seemed to find its swing right off the bat, while the pitching and defense did just enough.
Momentum was seemingly slowed a bit by the weather with a host of canceled games — some rescheduled and then canceled again.
But for Magiera and his guys, the focus isn’t so much on the here and now, but where this team is going to be two months from now.
“This is a team that can be good. I guess we really don’t know just how good, yet,” senior outfielder John Doroshewitz said. “It’s going to take some time. You can’t learn to play varsity baseball working in the gym, so we’ll have some growing pains, but once we figure it out, I know we can be good.”
As Magiera explained, he’s taken the field this year with sophomores batting in the first, second, third and clean-up spots.
“They have to play,” he said. “Time and experience is the best thing they can get.”
The schedule certainly won’t be a forgiving one. Playing in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, the Falcons will face the likes of Lake Orion High, Rochester Adams, Clarkston High and so on, on a regular basis.
A year ago, that gave way to a 4-9 finish in the Red.
The team was 15-19 overall.
“We have to improve,” Magiera said. “We have a goal of competing for the league championship. We know how tough everyone is, but what it comes down to is playing good baseball at the right time, which I think we can. The rest will take care of itself.”
Doroshewitz called the notion of playing with so many younger guys — six underclassmen alone have at least a year of varsity experience — a “pretty cool one.”
“I mean, as a senior, it’s weird playing with these guys that are so much younger, but it’s cool because of the potential,” he added. “They have all been playing baseball their whole life, so they know what it’s all about. Right now, it’s all about time and figuring some things out, but there’s plenty of confidence here right now.”
Rochester next hits the diamond against Oxford High at 4:30 p.m. April 19 at Oxford.