The milestones keep piling up for Frank Szymanski as the Chesapeake College baseball coach.
Szymanski won his 300th game during the 2010 season and four years later, he surpassed the 400-win mark.
He secured his 500th win when the Skipjacks beat New York’s Monroe College, 11-7, March 16, during a six-game road trip to South Carolina.
Szymanski, however, shrugs the numbers off, insisting he doesn’t think much about them.
“That’s not important to me,” says Szymanski, whose players didn’t know about the honor until two days after the game. “It just means I have been around a long time. I have been surrounded by great assistant coaches and players who have helped me along the way.”
He added, “It’s an honor to coach and work for Chesapeake. I’ve had incredible support from the faculty, staff, and administrators. I’m especially grateful to Dr. Ed Baker, Dr. Richard Midcap, Dr. Barbara Viniar and Dr. Stuart Bounds.”
Szymanski does care greatly about how the 2018 season is shaping up, and it could be one of the best in his 15 years on the job.
The Skipjacks are off to a sparking 14-3 start and perfect 3-0 mark in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Association.
“We are doing a lot of things well as a team,” Szymanski says. “We are getting some timely hits when we need them, our defense is improving and we are pitching well.”
Szymanski certainly can’t complain about a lack of pitching.
From sophomore right-hander Michael YaSenka to other standout sophomore right-handers Joseph Nahas, Jason McDonough to Kyle Searfoss, the team is well armed in the starting rotation.
“It’s great to have four quality arms in the starting rotation and they have been doing the job,” Chesapeake assistant coach Scott Milligan said.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound YaSenka was one of team’s best pitchers last year, fashioning 5-1 record with 98 strikeouts in 60 innings.
He’s been equally effective this spring, going 3-1 with 41 strikeouts in 23 innings.
YaSenka’s best game this month came against Anne Arundel Community College when he gave up four hits and one run across seven innings while fanning 15 batters.
“When is he on, he really has command of three pitches,” Milligan said of YaSenka’s effective slider, change-up and fastball. “It really makes it tough for hitters to sit on any one pitch.”
If Milligan and Szymanski had to pick an ace, it would be difficult.
Nahas, a transfer from UMBC, immediately caught the eye of the Chesapeake coaching staff and has been more dominating than YaSenka this season.
He boasts 3-0 record and has given up only 12 hits in 22 innings while striking out 47.
Nahas has an impressive three-pitch repertoire, which includes a fastball, slider and change-up.
He struck out a school-record 21 batters March 10 in a 3-1 conquest of AACC in the first game of a double header.
“He has great poise,” Szymanski said of Nahas. “He has a great attitude and work ethic that helps the younger guys. They see what it takes to be successful.”
Freshman right-hander Allan Saathoff and Jaret Price, freshman left-hander Nolan Brannon and sophomore right-hander Joey Jenkins bolster the pitching staff out of the bullpen.
“The guys who have been coming out of the pen have been doing a quality job,” Milligan said. “This is the most quality arms we have had in a while.”
Whoever stands on the mound will get plenty of offensive support.
Chesapeake is batting .391 and two freshman rank among the team’s leading hitters: infielder Davan Reinoso (batting .577, 5 home runs, 23 RBIs) and outfielder Livan Reinoso (.438, 7, 22).
Freshman outfielder Christian Murphy (hitting .429, 16 RBIs) and sophomore infielder Cody Forster (.396, 18 RBIs) also are contributing offensively.
“Our lineup is tough one through nine,” Milligan said.