Kenosha Kings Season Preview
May 29, 2009
A lineup filled with home run hitters typically sounds better than it really is. That’s what Kenosha Kings manager Tim Pulizzano found out last season when he compromised speed and defense in ex
A lineup filled with home run hitters typically sounds better than it really is. That’s what Kenosha Kings manager Tim Pulizzano found out last season when he compromised speed and defense in exchange for power.
“We had a bunch of middle of the lineup hitters and nobody to set the table for them,” said Pulizzano, whose team hosts Brookfield in a season opener 7:30 tonight at Simmons Field. “It was painful playing station to station all the time.”
With a balanced lineup featuring speed at the top and power in the middle, the Kings look to claim their third straight Langsdorf League of Southeastern Wisconsin championship and compete for their second Wisconsin State League title in four years.
“This team really reminds of the 2006 (WSL championship) team,” Pulizzano said. “We weren’t necessarily the most talented team, but we have the ability to do the little things like take an extra base, bunt guys over or steal a base.
“That will be the key to our success.”
Kenosha finished 31-25 overall last season. The semi-pro team went 18-4 in the Langsdorf and 13-19 in the WSL.
The team returns the majority of its major run producers, including All-WSL players Mark Cibrario, John Hasser, Jason Acevado and Billy Johnson.
Newcomers Robert Bellish and Andrew Highland, along with second-year player Ryan McManaman, should bring a new dimension to the team.
“This is the first year we’ve actually gotten younger, which is really nice,” Pulizzano said. “We have some fresh talent and a lot of speed.”
The Kings, entering their 26th season, feature plenty of depth on the mound. Randy Johnson, Jon Olson, Chad Ori, Jack Olson and Jason Bunton make up the starting rotation. Dave Foss could also challenge for a starting spot, according to Pulizzano.
“Without a doubt, this can be one of the strongest staffs in the Midwest if they remain healthy and committed,” Pulizzano said.
There are 27 players on this year’s team. The Kings play the majority of their home games at Simmons Field. Admission is free.
BY JEFFREY ZAMPANTI
The Wisconsin State League is one of the premier semi-professional/amateur baseball leagues in the mid-west. In operation since 1970, the Wisconsin State League is a highly competitive league that features many of the midwest's top current and former collegiate athletes, as well as many former professional baseball players. Keep up to date on everything happening in the Wisconsin State League by following the league online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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