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Catasauqua baseball team working through early season questions

In early March, Catasauqua head baseball coach Steve Bradley didn’t have a good read on his team for the upcoming season.

In late March, Bradley anticipates he will.

The Rough Riders will enter the 2023 campaign off a 6-14 season last year. It will be a team with plenty of question marks in the early going, yet with a foundation that could settle in time.

“We have some kids with experience, but we really have a lot of young kids,” said Bradley. “We have some kids that are banged up, and we have to move some of them around at this point.

“We’ll have to work through some things over the next few weeks.”

Catty’s pitching staff won’t have Brandon Jenny, who was at the top of the rotation the past few years.

This season, John Pushkar likely will be in the lead role for the Roughies. Bradley likely will also look to Ray Estecumber, who will get the nod at third base, along with Reese Lopez and possibly Matt Fotta.

Bradley wasn’t sure about the availability of Bryann Rivera, who has thrown the past two years,

“We’ll look to Pushkar,” said Bradley. “We have been working with Ray Estecumber, and we think he can help us. Reese Lopez is a freshman who has been throwing pretty well, and we have been impressed with him.”

Hunter Reitz, who had been penciled in as the starting catcher, will begin the season in center field because of nagging arm and knee problems. Besides Reitz, Bradley also has the options of Bryce Emery or J.D. Martinez, who both could see some time there.

In the infield, Matt Fotta has been slowed by a badly twisted ankle, and he will be at first base. Fotta also looms as one of the team’s main sources of power.

The rest of the infield will have Christian Fye at short and Pushkar and Aiden Hess at second. Hess is coming off a broken wrist.

In the outfield, Emery, Brandon Eck, Lopez, Luis Collazo, and Hamburg High transfer Dave Carl are the candidates.

“Lopez and Carl have been hitting, and we’ll give them a look in our scrimmages,” said Bradley. “Collazo knows the game well, and he will help.”

The Roughies scrimmaged Dieruff last Tuesday, but despite the win, Bradley didn’t gauge on an in-depth nature.

“We’ll take a look,” noted the veteran coach. “We’ll have to work through our lineup.”

Matt Fotta is back at first base but dealing with an ankle injury.