Middleburg Post 34 Coach Glenn Deans thought his American Legion team would be stacked with pitchers.
He's about to be right.
Thirteen games into the regular season, Middleburg (8-5) is finally at full strength, having solidified a pitching staff that includes standouts Ryan Crosby, Carlos Rivera, Artie Snyder and Jeremy Thompson of Notre Dame Academy and Sean Burkey of Loudoun Valley.
"I guess I thought I'd have them all sooner, but between beach week and other things, it was slow to come along," Deans said. "We just couldn't get everyone together. But now I think it's really going to stabilize."
Snyder was the last to join, waiting until after he accepted a partial scholarship last week to play for Division II Lander University in South Carolina -- where he and Thompson will both pitch for the Bearcats. Once he joined the summer roster, he quickly went to work, and in Middleburg's 4-0 victory of Woodbridge Post 364 on Saturday, Thompson (4 innings) and Snyder (3) combined for a two-hit shutout.
"I think Artie was more concerned about getting his college future settled before deciding his future with us," Deans said. "Now that he can relax, he's more in tune with what we're doing here. We've got a lot of great starters already, and he'll be our closer."
New Kids on the Block for Post 293
Remington Post 293 has a new look -- and a lot of new faces -- this season, with seven new players who were underclassmen this past high school season.
Sophomore Buddy Sosnoskie, a pitcher and outfielder for Liberty, tops the list of additions. He is coming off a freshman year in which he earned all-Northwestern District and All-Extra honors, having batted a team-high .438 with 32 hits, 17 runs scored and 10 RBI. He was errorless in the field and boasted a 1.71 ERA, recording 35 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Sosnoskie and his older brother, Anthony, a junior, will combine with 2004 Liberty graduates Joe Coppage and Thurman Winslow to fill out Remington's pitching rotation.
Coppage and Winslow are two of six Remington players in their final year of eligibility, including fellow Liberty graduates Justin Crittenden, Lee Neri, Shane O'Brien and Jon Ragan.
"I've been coaching those six guys ever since they started playing ball, so I'd like to see them go out on a good note," said Coach Scott O'Brien, whose team is off to a 1-6 start.
"And at this point, we have a ways to go to get back to that. But I also understand that we're working to develop a lot of young players for Liberty's team in the future.
"It's a mix we have to figure out."