Optimism reigns as Babe Ruth opener draws near

by nathan oster

It’s early, but Joe Forcella likes what he’s seeing from his Greybull Babe Ruth team, which opens the season next week.

“Really happy with the depth and experience we have this year,” Forcella said of his team, which is made up of 13- to 15-year-olds. “If we stay healthy, and the kids commit, we are on track for a great season.

“This year’s roster is a real treat because we have kids who can play multiple positions. We have a nice variety this year in our bullpen with speed, junk and consistency.”

The challenge, Forcella said, may be scoring runs.  Teams now must abide by the Bat-Ball  Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) ruling, which requires teams at all levels to switch to non-wood bats that are even more wood-like in their performance.

“I have heard rumors that home runs have dropped off by as much as 95 percent, which really changes the defensive side of the game,” said Forcella.

This year’s Babe Ruth team roster consists of the following players:

Calder Forcella, P/SS/3B

Zach Zeller, P/SS/2B

Fabian Davila, P/CF/SS

Jake Gifford, RF/3B/LF

Oscar Gomez, LF/1B/3B

Wyatt Nielson, LF, 2B, CF

Riley Hill, P/SS/3B

Miguel Gomez, RF/CF/LF

Justin Bacus, 2B/1B/C

Dawson Forcella, C/P/3B

Cade Dooley, RF/1B/C

Treston Tracy, 1B/3B

Dante Sylvester, LF/CF/RF

Forcella said the team is “counting down the days” to the season opener, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 30 in Worland.  Start time is 6 p.m.  The home opener is Thursday, May 31 against Otto, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

Forcella is being assisted this year by Todd Zeller.