Joey Miriello of Triton has been named Coach of the Year in baseball in the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference. It is the sixth such honor for the Hawks coach in the last eight years.
“I appreciate the award, first and foremost, mainly because I respect the opinion of other coaches in the conference,” Miriello said. “The award is due to the fact that you’ve got to have the horses. Our players stepped up this year. This award is a testament to the hard work that they put in, the dedication they put in and the improvement that they made from last year to this year, not anything that I specifically did.
“Without them and without the huge amount of help I get from my two assistant coaches (Tanner Ferguson and Jake Willis), I wouldn’t have gotten this award. Just as much credit goes to them as I received.”
Triton went from a 2-20 record in 2018 to 11-10 this past season. The Hawks were 6-4 in league play in 2019.
“I thought we would be better,” Miriello said. “I thought we would compete, just due to the fact that we were bigger and stronger than last year. That’s one of the main reasons that we struggled a bit. We weren’t used to the pace of the varsity level and a lot of those guys, it was the first time they had experienced that.
“I was somewhat surprised by the way we started off, especially sitting 10-4 at one point, competing against the level of talent some of these other teams have. By most people’s standards, we would still be considered somewhat young. I was pleased with the progression that they made from last year to this year.”
Miriello would like to see more improvement next year.,
“Obviously, we’re going to have a little higher expectations coming into next year than we did this year,” Miriello said. “That’s all going to be dependent on how we produce on the mound. When we struggled on the mound this year, we struggled as a team.
“If we get better on the mound, I think we have a chance to compete and be up at the top of the conference. If we can get Zydarius (McDougald) healthy and (Ethan) Hedgepeth and (Hayden) Pope progress again, then I think we’ll definitely be competing at the top of the conference once again.”