Adams, Hanley Gear Up for Baseball Season

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The two senior captains

Bobby Rabaioli

The two senior captains are ready for the new season
The two senior Captains are ready for the new season.

The baseball season is almost upon us as the off-season workouts are now turning into practices.  The Rebels—led by Coach William Tompkins and senior Captains Johnny Adams and Cam Hanley—are in position to make another solid run at Herget and Bay State championships.  After finishing last year’s regular season with an 18-3 record and Bay State Title, Boys Baseball had an unfortunate coin flip—drawing Xaverian in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 tournament; unfortunately, Walpole would go on to lose that game and end their season on a disappointing note.

 Seniors Adams, Hanley, and Mike Gaughan have recently committed to Division 1 schools, so their talents should provide the foundation for a formidable lineup.  There is only a few spots left in the starting roster, but returning players—Matt Bender, Tom Demarias, Mike Rando, Tom Farrow, Brendan Donovan, Rick Ordway, Nolan Murray, and James Smith—will have no problem filling in these gaps.

 However, the loses of last year’s seniors Dan King, Craig Hanley, Mike Baryski, Matt Lavancy, Kyle Donnelly, Joe Murphy, and Tim Sullivan will hurt the team in experience as well as in depth.  Adams said, “Losing King is tough, but Rick [Ordway] will be ready to step up in his footsteps for catching, and losing Craig Hanley, Tim Sullivan and Matt Lavanchy will hurt.”

 Gaughan, who was the ace for the pitching staff last year, is definitely looking to be as dominant as he was last year.  But behind Gaughan, there is very little depth: filling the role for the number two and three starters will not be as easy as it seems.  After losing pitchers in Mike Baryski and Joe Murphy, the Rebels will be looking for younger pitches to fill in the holes.  Last year’s long inning relief pitchers James Smith, Tom Farrow, Brendan Donovan, and Tom Demarias; along with last year’s JV star pitchers James Newman, Jack Donnelley, and Pat Demers will be given the opportunity to prove themselves in the upcoming scrimmages.

 Last season’s role players will certainly be looking to have more defined roles in this 2013 campaign. Seniors Rick Ordway, Nolan Murray, and juniors Bobby Ivatts, Nick Cordopatri, and James Smith—for example—all seem up to the task.

Coach Tompkins has been doing this for a long time and has almost seen everything. “They’re always surprises every year in who steps up to play.  Last year Kyle Donnelly who did not win a game as a junior, won five big games that helped us make the state tournament and this year we will be looking for our Kyle Donnelly,” said Tompkins.

 “Our main goal for this year is to make the state tournament, but not only that, we want to make some noise when we get there.  My main goal for the past 35 years has been to win a state championship,” said Tompkins.  “We want to peak at the end of the year and play our best when we enter the tournament.”

 Get ready for what seems a great season coming up for Boys Baseball.