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With the 2012 City County baseball season well in hand, the Exeter City County Cardinals are looking to stay in the thick of things, and thus far, they are with a 6-4 record overall. The team is being guided by the likes of John Reina, Dan Louviaux and pitcher Nick Feeney.
Of Feeney, Cardinals head coach Brian Hayes said, “Nick is no stranger to the Exeter City County program. He has played for me since the summer of 2006 and is looking to have another stellar summer on the mound for the Cardinals 19U squad.
“He was a member of the 2008 Exeter Cardinals 16U team which went 45-12. He is a 2010 graduate of Exeter High School and is currently a sophomore at West Chester University. Nick is a shutdown pitcher who works ahead and changes speeds effectively. He understands how the Cardinals’ program operates, and has been around for much of the success the program has endured over the past six seasons.”
For himself, Feeney noted, “I have very high expectations for the team this season. It continues to be a winning program, and every night we have good pitching and fielding, and I expect the squad to have a chance to win every game this season.”
Playing legion ball last season, Feeney said there wasn’t too much of a difference between that and playing for the city county team this year. “You’re almost playing the same teams,” he noted, “When I’m out there, I just focus on throwing strikes to the catcher and the people around me (coaches, fellow players) are all supportive, so it’s a very good atmosphere to play in.”
Feeney said that as far as goals were concerned for the team, the main one, and the most important one, according to Coach Hayes and the rest of the team, is winning. Feeney noted, “We want to win games by making sure we put the best team out there on the field when we enter a contest. We want to win the league overall, and for myself, I want to throw strikes and give my team a chance to win as many games as possible.”
Feeney said with his overall ability, both with his arm and bat, he brings energy to the team. “Every time I’m out there, the team knows they’re going to get somebody who’s working hard, throwing strikes and ultimately who wants to win.”
Feeney enjoys the feeling of having the baseball in his hands and being able to control the game. “I like the responsibility,” he said, “and that is one of the pros, I think, to the position. It makes me want to push myself and not let the team as a whole, down.”
Since he played legion ball last summer for Exeter, Feeney said that that session kept him on his toes for playing with Exeter City County this summer. “After the legion season was over last summer, I had a little time to reflect on my performance. I realized I didn’t do as well as I wanted to do, and that realization pushed me hard in the off season to work harder and get my body better prepared to pitch games. This year I feel I’m coming in and pitching in a lot better shape, and it’s helped tremendously.”
Feeney also sees himself as a leader on the team, even though if you talk to any of the players, leadership doesn’t come from a specified captain, per se, but from everyone on the team.
“Not only does this team have good baseball players,” Feeney said, “They’re all good kids as well. We’re always willing to help one another out, and willing to take the time to see flaws in each other’s game and work hard on straightening them out.”
Feeney noted that the leadership that he provides on the mound has been responded to exceptionally well. He noted, “Whenever I pitch, the fielding has been outstanding, and everyone is making plays. I like to work fast on the mound, and everyone has been working hard to make sure my efforts on the mound are also good outings for the team.”