The Fitchburg State Falcons are looking to capitalize on a head coaching change after a baseball season marked by inconsistency and an inability to stack up wins. Shortly after the season ended, former head coach Todd Lynch resigned with an inauspicious 69-105 record with Fitchburg State. The program was looking for a shot in the arm, someone to rejuvenate the struggling program. Enter Keith Brouillard. Brouillard has served Fitchburg State as Associate Director of Athletics since 2008 and was appointed head coach of the baseball team after Lynch’s resignation. His goal is to send the struggling Falcons to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference playoffs and eventually deliver a MASCAC title. “We’re looking to bring in good character guys and build this program up to a Division 1 or Division 2 program,” Brouillard, a former All-Region and All-Conference pitcher at Franklin Pierce University, said.
The fall season got underway in September and from the sheer turnout (38 total players, 25 first year players), the buzz is back here at Fitchburg State. However players realize they need to step up their game if they want to earn a starting job next season. “There are a lot of people here looking for spots, so I’m just trying to keep my arm ready for the long haul,” captain and pitcher/outfielder Cody Bamforth said.
These fall practices may seem like a nuisance to an outsider, but it’s here where the groundwork is laid for the upcoming season. Coach Brouillard and his assistants Kevin Barnaby and Pat Raftery have the opportunity to see what potential they have for the upcoming season. Players also have a chance to learn the new coaching style that the three new men bring to the program, a coaching style that will hopefully lead them to a playoff berth.
The fall is a time to establish an identity, one that hopefully will carry over to the spring season. The veteran players hope to set a new standard throughout the fall, one filled with winning and high intensity. Even though the Falcons are months away from their first game, it appears that an identity is starting to take shape, something made especially important with the transition to a new coach.