Mansfield Destroyers

The Mansfield Destroyers celebrate a victory during the 2019 season.

MANSFIELD — The Mansfield Destroyers are coming off an exciting inaugural season where they pushed their way to the NYCBL Championship, but fell to the Niagara Power in game three of the series and finished with a 20-20 record.

Coming into the 2020 season, the Destroyers are ready to get things rolling and build on the success they saw their first season.

The Destroyers boasted the best attendance in the league last season and are looking to continue the trend moving into this season with increased community involvement as well as events to do an even better job of connecting with the fans throughout the season.

“We ramped up more of our promotions, when everybody walks in they’re going to get more items to take home with them as souvenirs. We’re going to have a lot of off-field activities taking place during the breaks of games. It’s going to not only be a lot more exciting, but a lot more family-friendly,” owner Don Lewis said.

The Destroyers are also returning nine players to the diamond this upcoming season, and are expecting similar if not better results on the field as they pursue a NYCBL Championship.

“Our defense is going to be unbelievable again and on offense we will be great. We got Colton Evans back, some of the big kids we got back,” Lewis said. “We look forward to them building off that this summer.”

Colton Evans was a huge part of the Destroyers’ season last year; he batted .310, with 16 RBIs and 10 stolen bases for Mansfield and is expected to continue his success in 2020.

The Mansfield team has been lucky to have a coach like Brian Hill at the helm and should be recognized for all of the little things he accomplishes in order for his team to be able to compete at a high-level.

“Coach Brian Hill did a lot of behind the scenes stuff for us last year,” Lewis said. “I don’t have to worry about contracts, I don’t worry about making sure they’re in on time and I don’t have to make sure we have a full roster because he is always reaching out to other teams and other college coaches to see what they get available. He handles all the baseball operations which is absolutely huge. There’s not a lot of coaches that do something like that. He’s definitely been great.”

With the rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) many sports seasons are in jeopardy of not getting the opportunity to compete in the 2020 season, but the Destroyers are confident that it won’t affect their season.

“I don’t think it will affect the season. We’re still two and a half months out, but we do want to make sure that the fans and players are safe which is our main goal. But I’m in touch daily with league officials, other teams. We don’t see an issue taking place right now, but there is obviously a “Plan B’ already in place as we move forward,” Lewis said.

With a great coaching staff, nine returning players and one of the best defenses in the entire league, the Mansfield Destroyers’ are poised for another exciting season that will give the fans something to cheer about in Mansfield.

The Destroyers also plan to put together some family friendly events in the community including an exhibition game July 4.

Keep an eye out for all of the exciting events the Destroyers will be a part of during 2020.