DCCC baseball looks to start fresh

By Kharii McMillan

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Phantoms baseball players straighten up the field, raking the base paths and tidying up the pitchers’ mound, after the first practice of the fall is completed on Sep 6. Photo by Kharii McMillan

“They can hide you in football. They can hide you in basketball. They can hide you in hockey. There’s nowhere to hide here.”

These were the parting words of head baseball coach Paul Motta to more than 20 potential players as they left the first open practice of the fall season Sept. 6.

Motta believes, in baseball, that the responsibility for mistakes lies firmly on the shoulders of the individual, whereas it is more difficult to determine who is at fault in other sports.

Entering his 46th season as manager of the DCCC Phantoms baseball team, Motta said that although the team has not won a championship since 2010, talent — backed by hard work and proper teaching — will inspire better results.

“I saw some good talent out there today,” Motta said. “Not everyone is a baseball player yet, but if you’re open to teaching, I can help you become one.”

The first practice consisted of fielding and throwing drills. According to Motta, it is impossible to be a true baseball player unless you are able to both field the ball cleanly, and make strong, accurate throws.

Due to the recent retirement of former assistant coach Chip Scherer, Motta has accepted the help of former player, Anthony Greco, to assist with practices and molding the newest players while the search for an assistant coach continues.

Greco, a science for health professions major at the Marple campus, played two years under Motta for DCCC. He jumped at the opportunity to come back to the team and help Motta with practices and the development of the newest members of the team, he said.

“I want more DCCC graduates to come back and help the team,” said Greco, who coaches baseball at MarpleNewtown High School. He hopes to play a role in getting a larger turnout of student-athletes to go out for the baseball team, by relaying to high school prospects the benefits of playing baseball close to home at the Marple campus.

Outreach for the baseball program has been one of the recent hardships of the team, because potential players attend classes at several Delaware County campuses. So Motta believes it is important to spread the word in order to get a larger pool of players for fall practices.

“I had no idea that we had a baseball team,” said Michael Colón, a 22-yearold engineering major from Coatesville. “There must be a better way to get the word out to more students.”

DCCC baseball players have an advantage by attending a community or junior college for a top baseball prospect, Motta added.

For players with minor or major league potential, attending a two-year school allows them to join a minor league system after one year. Attending a four-year university carries with it a rule that a student-athlete must remain in school for three years before being eligible to join the Major League Baseball draft, according to Major League Baseball eligibility rules.

The tentative plan is for the baseball team to practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the fall season in an effort to build a camaraderie that will carry through winter workouts into the first scheduled game on March 6, Greco said.

Any potential player looking to gain more information on eligibility for DCCC teams can visit Athletic Director Suni K. Blackwell at the Student Life Office on the Marple campus, in Room 1182.

Motta said he is certainly up to the challenge of finding more players, and understands that in order to return the program to the mountaintop it last reached in 2010, there is one thing that must be done: “You have to win.”

Contact Kharii McMillan at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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A player looks on as student athletes arrive for their first day of baseball practice and get themselves set up in the dugout on Sep 6. Photo By Kharii McMillan