Henninger and Corcoran's baseball programs began this new season with many unanswered questions as both squads feature several unproven players in predominant roles this year.
The learning curve for a young ball club can be broad but Henninger's young players moved to the head of the class April 13 with a 6-2 win over Corcoran at Van Duyn Field. The game is counted as a CNYCL non-leaguer between the two city school rivals.
One of Henninger's up-and-comers is sophomore Kevin Walters. The left-hander recorded a complete-game win as the Black Knights picked up their first victory of the 2010 campaign. Walters scattered six hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Corcoran starter Connor Nolan went the distance and struck out eight but he also walked five and hit a batter. Three of Henninger's six runs were unearned. The Black Knights took the lead for good, 3-2, in the top of the sixth when they scored on an infielder's error with one out.
Freshman shortstop Frank Vigliotti and sophomore outfielder Devin Defranis are among the six underclassmen on the Black Knights roster that will need to mature rapidly before league play begins. Henninger went to the playoffs and finished 10-14 last season.
Vigliotti made some solid plays at short and knocked in an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a one-hop single to right. Defranis went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI.
Shawn Cregg and Matt Thompson both had two hits and a RBI for the Cougars. The game also featured coaching cousins. Henninger assistant Jerry Piraino, a former Black Knight player, is first cousins with Corcoran assistant and former Henninger coach Bob Piraino.
Like Henninger, Corcoran is trying to develop its younger players in time to be competitive in the tough CNYCL. The Cougars are coming off a 11-12 season in 2009 as coach Bob Southworth enters his 45th season.