Campo Predicts Turnaround for 2019 Baseball Team
By Brody Tennant, Staff Writer
With a very up and down season last year, the Gettysburg College baseball team has put in a lot of work, refocused, and looks to make a postseason run this year.
“The frustrating thing last year was we were a different team from the year before,” said Head Coach John Campo, who enters his 33rd season. “We got off to a rough start. We turned it around the back half of our Florida trip and had some momentum coming home, but then the snowstorm wiped out games for two weeks.”
Last year, the team had high expectations for the season, coming off six consecutive 20-win seasons and playoff appearances. However, due to early injuries and consistently bad weather, the team never had a chance to gain any positive momentum. They finished the year 13-23 overall, going 6-12 in conference play.
This year, the team feels good about the work they put in over the offseason to come back strong. Coach Campo believes success comes from a team’s pitching and defense.
“Philosophically, it starts with pitching and defense,” noted Campo. “When I’m building a lineup, that’s what I’m looking at. If you have good pitching and good defense, you have a chance to win. That’s been our major focus, as well as developing our run production.”
While the team has a strong core, there will be some tough spots to fill, namely center fielder Chuck Probst ‘18 and third baseman Logan Sneed ‘18, both all-conference players, along with starting pitcher Brad DeMartino ‘18. Probst hit .333 with 12 doubles and 20 RBI while Sneed batted .282 and scored 26 runs in 2018. DeMartino was their work horse, pitching 62 innings, 28.1 more innings than anyone else on the staff.
The pitching staff will see several players returning from last year, including every starter from last year minus DeMartino. Seniors Will Wortmann, Sam Dobbins, and Brendan Wright, along with juniors John Braun and Jack Harvard will compete for starting rotation spots.
Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Bullets were able to add 13 wins and earned a spot in the conference playoffs, and Coach Campo believes the team can accomplish a similar feat this season.
“I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen in the talent level and our attitude and our work ethic,” said Campo. “We’re in position to have a good year at this point. Bottom line is the formula for success is you [must] have enough talent and you [must] prepare properly. We’ve done that. Our preparation has been excellent. Now you [must] put it into a winning performance. Are we going to be able to get it done on the field? I’m optimistic. If we stay healthy and can be at full strength consistently, I think this team has an opportunity to do a lot of good things.”
The team, after opening the season today against Stevenson University on March 7, will travel to Florida for a 10-game spring break trip.