The Dryden Purple Lions Baseball team fell short of an IAC playoff berth and finished the season with a first-round loss in the Section IV tournament, despite a strong second half of the season. A lineup filled with seniors laid the framework for the growth of the program, as it looks to work its way into the top tier of IAC baseball in years to come. The Lions finished 9-9 overall and 5-5 in divisional play, and Head Coach Andrew Lampman took time to reflect on his team’s season
Mark Shelley: In the IAC race, your team battled hard, from start to finish, and came up just short of IAC playoffs. Despite the shortcoming, how inspiring was it to see your team push until the end?
Andrew Lampman: We knew as a group that we had to work hard and battle to get ourselves to the IAC playoff. We knew it was an uphill battle when we were going up against some top-level teams, but that did nothing but add fuel to the fire and ignited us to go for it. We had nothing to lose. We were on the outside looking in for getting the last spot in the playoff, so we just took it upon ourselves to give it everything we had. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t quite good enough, but we gave it a run, and I am proud of the guys for doing that.
MS: With seniors leading the way to the Section IV tournament, how important was it for those veteran players to show the younger players the way forward?
AL: Veteran leadership is so crucial to any team. We needed our seniors to put this team on their backs. With the likes of seniors Trey Tyler, Sean Peck, Cody Senecal, Adam Buttaccio, and company they do a great job pushing the younger guys to keep working every day. It is a long season, and they kept the younger guys going at the end.
MS: A senior-heavy team means there will be turnover and a younger looking lineup next season. What have you seen from the JV players that will be looking to make an impact next season?
AL: Saying goodbye to ten seniors is going to be a tough pill to swallow for us. We are going to have a lot of new faces and are going to be relying on young leadership to step into next season. Our junior varsity team won the IAC JV Championship this year and finished the year at 13-3. This is great for the future of the Dryden Baseball program, and can only help us keep building into a consistent winning program. We are going to need some of those leaders on the JV squad to step up next year and be leaders for the varsity team in the 2020 season.
MS: Of the returning players, who are you looking forward to stepping into a leadership role for next season.
AL: There are three individuals that played vital roles for us this season as underclassman. I would expect to see these three players step into leadership roles for this team next season. Juniors Sam Dow and Harold Lobdell and Sophomore Jacob Babcock are going to be the most experienced Varsity players on next year’s squad. I am very excited to have these three lead the way for us. They all have great qualities that will help our team succeed next season.
MS: Looking at the IAC race, you were hanging with some of the top teams in the three divisions. What is it going to take to overtake these programs and capture a division title?
AL: It is going to take a confidence and belief that we can play with the top teams. Sometimes we make excuses for losing against the likes of the Waverly’s and Lansing’s, and we forget that when we are on our game, we can play with those teams. We just need to believe in ourselves and play Dryden baseball.
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