Baseball: Carmel to miss Brennan, fellow graduates
Updated: July 10, 2012 10:38AM
Brian Brennan experienced a lot in his athletic career at Carmel Catholic.
As a defensive back/running back, he was a integral part of the Corsairs’ conference-winning football team in 2010. Moved to quarterback as a senior, he piloted a first-round playoff win over Addison Trail last fall.
But nothing will compare to the trip he and his baseball teammates made in March to downstate Harrisburg, donating time and money to help tornado victims recover.
“I think it was the best decision we made in four years in baseball,” Brennan said. “There’s a lot more to Carmel baseball than everyone knows.”
In just looking at statistics, it was an average season for the Corsairs. A 23-13 overall record, a second-place conference finish and a regional final ouster fell short of expectations.
Carmel’s on-field performance could be most remembered for the electricity generated every time Alex Young pitched. The once-in-a-decade phenom drew more scouts than fans at some games, and did not disappoint, striking out 71 batters in 40 innings while being named the Eastern Suburban Catholic Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Two other Class of 2012 grads were named all-conference: Brennan and second baseman Blake Bucsa. Brennan’s gaudy .545 on-base percentage in the leadoff position kick-started the Corsairs’ offense, with Bucsa (.348 batting average, 37 hits, 25 RBIs) providing consistent production in the clean-up spot.
“You have to give credit to this year’s seniors,” said Joe May, who stepped down as coach following the ’12 season. “They led well and have no reason but to be proud.”
May juggled many lineups during the season, inserting younger players as the Corsairs struggled scoring runs during stretches of the season. Such inexperience may have had a countereffect at the end of the season — Carmel started five non-seniors in the team’s 8-6 regional final loss to Highland Park, including sophomore starting pitcher Quentin Sefcik — but the belief is that it will pay dividends in 2013.
“The experience was good for the guys who bought in,” May said.
When Brennan removed his white and brown jersey for the final time as a Corsair, he gave his younger brother, Sean, a hug and whispered in his ear. The symbolic torch had been passed.
“Growing up watching my brother play, I realized what Carmel was all about,” said Brennan, referring to older brother, John, who graduated in 2007.
Notes: Whomever is hired as the next Carmel baseball coach will inherit a similar situation to when May took over in 2010. A senior-dominated team won a regional title that season.
The Corsairs’ top two hitters — Brett Milazzo (.500 batting average in 34 at-bats) and Duncan Amrein (.464 average, .710 slugging percentage, 27 RBIs) — will return in 2013. Run-producers Tyler Murphy (24 RBIs, 26 runs) and Michael Stahoviak (.318 average, 27 RBIs) also will be back.
All-conference pick Matt Ryan (6-1, 1.94 ERA, 50 strikeouts) will lead a staff that includes Sefcik (3.62 ERA, 50 K’s), Dalton Wright (3-1, 2.47 ERA) and Amrein (2.22 ERA in 22 innings pitched).
“Ryan and Amrein are two-way players who should have unbelievable senior seasons,” said May. “The cupboard is going to be pretty full.”
College-bound: Among Carmel’s graduates, only Young and Bucsa plan to play in college. Young will take his talents to Texas Christian University while Bucsa plans to play at the College of Lake County.