City College baseball sets sights on conference contention

Head coach John Vanoncini expresses confidence in his sophomores, new talent

By Estela Fuentes
The Guardsman

After finishing last season with a record of 15- 24, the City College Rams baseball team is looking forward to showing the Golden Gate Conference why it deserve to be part of the conversation in Northern California’s second-ranked conference.

“Four of the teams in our conference are ranked in the top 20, so it’s going to be an uphill battle,” John Vanoncini said, as he begins his tenth season as Rams head coach. “However, I think we’re up for the challenge.”

Having lost All-Conference player Barney Evans from last season, the team will boast a sophomore-heavy 2010 line-up. These players will bring to the team both experience and talent as they head toward the season opener.

One of the returning players expected to contribute heavily this season is pitcher Eric Lara, who has already signed a contract with George Washington University, a Division 1 school. The Rams also have All-Conference pitcher Jared Freitas and outfielder Roger Fonseca, who boasted the second highest batting average on the team last season.

“I really don’t think about numbers. I just try to do my part and help the team win,” Fonseca said.

Freitas expressed confidence in the added experience and depth of his team’s offense.

“I just expect the whole team to actually work together and produce runs as a team,” Freitas said.

Vanoncini and his players will be keeping an eye on this seasons’ newcomers, who are expected to bring great athleticism to the team. Infielder John Abreu, a transfer student from Eastern Arizona Junior College, will be donning the Rams’ uniform for the first time, as will Ryan Demello from Hawaii. Vanoncini sees Demello possibly being the team’s pitcher to start off the season. Freshman catcher Mark Johnson is considered one of the biggest offensive additions to this year’s squad.

Despite the rough weather conditions in January, which forced Vanoncini to move practice indoors, his players’ momentum has not been slowed as they approach opening day. This season will be challenging, but the team feels ready to compete for a conference crown.

The Rams will open their 2010 season Feb. 4 on the road against Laney College. With a revamped lineup and leadership from his sophomores, Vanoncini is confident that his team can come out on top of the Golden Gate Conference.