Back on the bases – Lowell Sun

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Groton-Dunstable senior captain Isaac Zhang will be looked upon to provide his leadership every step of the way this season. One of the best players in Central Mass. Zhang will be the team’s ace on the mound and patrolling centerfield when he’s not. (Courtesy photo)

It’s been three years since the MIAA has offered a true high school baseball state tournament. Last year, an open tournament was held, and 12 local teams participated. This year will be much different as the new statewide tournament will take place; thus the regular season games will mean that much more.

A year ago, Shawsheen Tech sported the best record, finishing the regular season at 13-1 and 14-2 overall. The Rams will bring back CAC League MVP Mavrick Bourdeau, the talented shortstop, as well as two other league all-stars Shane Costello and Owen Duggan.

Westford Academy finished with 13 wins coming out of the Dual County League and return a pair of league all-stars with Carson Cormier and Matt Morash.

The Merrimack Valley Conference is always super competitive and Lowell, Chelmsford and Dracut all finished right around the .500 mark last year, and will look for better seasons, with Billerica and Tewksbury not far behind.

In Central Mass, North Middlesex head coach Jim Beauregard has 285 career victories, so a big season from the Patriots could possibly push him to the 300-win plateau.

Speaking of coaches, there’s three new ones in the circuit this year with Alex Winkelmann at Littleton, Zach Lebowitz at Nashoba Tech and Tony Bolduc at Pelham, NH.

Alvirne

League: New Hampshire Division 1

Last Year’s Record: 12-5

Returning Letterwinners: Jake Dufour, sr., outfield; Ty Baker, sr., pitcher/utility; Braden Simard, sr., pitcher/utility; Alex Blais, jr., pitcher/first base; Richie Thibeault, jr., second base.

Promising Newcomers: Kody Hobart, sr.; Ethan Moccia, sr.; Austin Ouellette, sr.; Mitch Wong, sr.; Reece Baker, jr.; Mikey Bebris, fr.; Antonio Vallante, fr.; Logan Casey, soph.; Kyle Dufour, soph.

Coach Adam Perkins (2nd season): “Our strengths will continue to be pitching and defense. We have had the best off-season attendance ever. Our arm-care and preparation has been outstanding. It will come down to execution of our pitches and getting our starters deep into games. Our defense is very deep. We’ll have the fastest outfield we’ve had in years and a lot of tough choices on who will be in our infield. It will come down to who can hit the ball.”

Billerica

League: Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2

Last Year’s Record: 5-12

Senior Tri-Captains: Mike Sibert, second base; Harry Tucker, first base/outfield; Kyler MacDonald, sr., pitcher.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Dan Passerini, sr., catcher/third base; Cam Lewitzy, sr., DH/outfield; Creig Barnes, sr., pitcher/third base; Austin Brune, jr., outfield/pitcher; Wes DeOliverira, jr., pitcher/infield; Gus O’Gara, soph., shortstop/catcher; Ryan Petres, soph., pitcher/first base.

Promising Newcomers: Nolan Dawson, fr., pitcher/infield; Paul Foster, jr., pitcher/outfield; Billy Schein, sr., outfield; Matt MacLeod, soph., catcher/first base; Beau Courtemunche, soph., outfield; Drew Mello, fr., infield/pitcher.

Coach Joe Higgins (15th year, 39th overall): “We are a young and enthusiastic club, scrappy, hard-working and with good team core values. We have some speed, pretty solid defense, great leadership and a hungry attitude. It will be a pleasure coach this bunch of players this year.”

Chelmsford

League: Merrimack Valley

Last Year’s Record: 9-8

Senior Quad-Captains: Marcos Hernandez, second base; Jonathan Cotta, shortstop; Colin Ryan, outfield; Adam Lizine, catcher.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Thomas Keyo, sr., third base; Zack Ly, sr., third base/outfield; Collin Reid, sr., first base; Ryan Brackett, sr., outfield; Drew Munson, sr., pitcher; Braydon Gray, jr., pitcher; Caleb Stuart, jr., pitcher.

Promising Newcomers: Jake Faulkenham, sr., outfield; Jack Blaine, jr., catcher; Matt Stuart, fr., pitcher; Matt Hall, fr., utility; Finn Ramseyer, fr., first base.

Coach Lou DiStasi (3rd season): “We’re a veteran team with strong senior leadership. These seniors pushed for a challenging schedule against top tier programs. We are excited to see what the season brings.”

Dracut

League: Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2

Last Year’s Record: 7-9

Captains: Jake Pynn, sr., catcher; Robert Roth, sr., pitcher/infield; Andrew Chenevert, jr., pitcher/infield.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Anthony Fazio, sr., outfield/pitcher; Collin Arsenault, jr., pitcher/infield; Christian Stoessel, jr., pitcher/outfield; Emmitt Collins, jr., infield/outfield; Riley Ducharme, jr., pitcher/first base; Colby Forestell, jr., pitcher/first base; Ben Pashoian, jr., pitcher/infield; CJ Rosado, jr., catcher; Sean Bosia, soph., pitcher/outfield.

Promising Newcomers: JP Cataldo, soph., pitcher/outfield; Mikey Desmarais, soph., pitcher/outfield; Sal D’Amico, soph., pitcher/outfield.

Coach Steve Talbot (7th season): “Numbers are down a bit but we have some kids that have put a lot of work in this off-season. Guys came in stronger and faster. We will be very solid behind the plate with Jake Pynn . He has all the tools and will help us keep some runners at bay. The league is going to be very strong as most teams have some top-level pitching. We’re hoping to compete every day. This year we have time to prepare for our April 15th start, so I think this will allow us to get an inexperienced team ready and solidify some jobs. Our team goals are no different than years past. We want to make the tourney and compete for the MVC 2 Title.”

Greater Lowell

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference
Last Year’s Record: 8-6

Senior Tri-Captains: Nate Palladino, catcher; Ryan Bracetty, third base/pitcher; Jeidden Avila Rosa, utility.

Other Returning Lettermen: Jared Gaudette, sr., pitcher/outfield; Jonathan Pacheco, sr., infield; Yan Rivera, jr., pitcher/second base; Devin Rochleau, soph., outfield/pitcher; Jake Torpey, soph., pitcher/first base.

Promising Newcomers: Dante Cedeno, sr., outfield/pitcher; Trevor Chouinard, jr., outfield/pitcher; Christian Livoli, jr., second base/pitcher; Dominic Melo, jr., first base; Darren Purschel, jr., outfield; Kaysen Vilaphanh, jr., catcher/outfield; Dillon Pagliccia, soph., shortstop/outfield; Brendan Arseneault, fr., shortstop/pitcher; A J. Baia, fr., catcher/outfield.

Coach Dave MacLaughlan (39th year): “We have some openings to fill and are using our scrimmage to make decisions. We’re looking for our seniors and veterans for leadership. We’re working hard and are, hopefully, improving every day.”

Groton-Dunstable

League: Mid-Wach B

Last Year’s Record: 11-5

Senior Captain: Isaac Zhang, outfield/pitcher.

Returning Letterwinners: Nate Bushnell, jr., pitcher/shortstop; Cole Beigel, jr., outfield; Alex Hillenberg, jr., infield/outfield; Ryan Bushnell, jr., second base/outfield; Zack Metzger, soph., pitcher/infield; Graeme White, soph., third base/catcher.

Promising Newcomers: Sam Dutie, jr., third base/pitcher; Luke McKiel, jr., first base/pitcher; Jarett Arsenault, jr., outfield; Alex Kelly, soph., infield/pitcher; Andrew Raymond, fr., catcher/pitcher; Chris Pincott, freshman, pitcher.

Coach Matt LeBlanc (17th season): “We’ll work tirelessly to improve and become a versatile and smart baseball team. Isaac Zhang, our lone senior captain, will be looked upon to provide his leadership every step of the way. He’s one of the best players in Central Mass. and will be our ace on the mound and patrolling centerfield when he’s not pitching. As we figure out what pieces of the puzzle fit where and this 2022 group gains varsity experience, we know we’ll be competitive and will not be able to be counted out of any game.”

Littleton

League: Mid Wach C

Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Senior Quad-Captains: Riley Ashworth, infield/pitcher; Alex Cote, pitcher; Max Hannagan, outfield; Paul Heine, DH.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Ryan Graf, jr., pitcher/shortstop; Andrew Milner, soph., first base.

Promising Newcomers: Ben Shufrin, soph., second base/pitcher; Alejandro Horton, fr., catcher; Jayden Graf, fr., outfield; Jack Redmond, fr., third base/pitcher; Brady Morvay, fr., outfield.

Coach Alex Winkelmann (1st year): “Exceptional leadership from returning upperclassmen coupled with a promising and talented group of freshman players, Littleton High School baseball hopes to win their division for the first time since 2018. We have all pitchers from 2021 returning, a strong defense and a well-rounded lineup to provide run support.”

Lowell

League: Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1

Last Year’s Record: 8-7
Senior Co-Captains: Steven Betty, outfield/pitcher; Joe Auger, catcher.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Jayden Villanueva, jr., outfield; Kyle Frechette, sr., pitcher/first base; Riasey Evan Seng, sr., pitcher/infield; Declan Silva, jr., infield/pitcher; Javin Abreu, sr., infield; Matt Desroches, sr., pitcher/infield; Kiernan Foyle, sr., outfield; Ben Kotsifas, sr., outfield.

Promising Newcomers: Kevin Butler, jr., pitcher; Juan Dussault, jr., pitcher; Cam Durkin, soph., outfield; Ethan Chanthompalit, jr., catcher; Omar Carvajal, jr., infield; Jack Aylward, jr., pitcher/infield; Caden Smith, jr., pitcher/first base; Jake Descheneaux, soph., pitcher; Frank Kelly, sr., outfield.

Coach Danny Graham (14th season): “We have a great bunch of kids who have been working hard since December. We’re looking forward to competing in arguably one of the best leagues in the state top to bottom. Our goal is to make it into the State Tournament, and be playing our best baseball at the end of the year.”

Lowell Catholic

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last Year’s Record: 7-8
Returning Letterwinners: Ryan Koes, sr., pitcher/infield; Dan McConologue, sr., outfield; Jake McDonough, sr., infield; Ryan Penrose, sr., pitcher/outfield; Drew Prindle, sr., pitcher/infield; Prindle Brady, soph., catcher; Virella Aidan, soph., infield; Tran Tim, jr., outfield; Joe Farina, jr., infield/pitcher.

Promising Newcomers: Adam Ellegood, jr., outfield; Ryan Lynde, jr., pitcher/outfield; Sean McNamara, jr., pitcher/infielder; Robert Sheehan, jr., pitcher/infield; Brendan Owens, soph., pitcher/infielder; Danny Parent, soph., pitcher/outfield.

Coach Matt Stone (11th season): “The players have had a great start to workouts. This is our second year in the very competitive Commonwealth Conference. This senior class saw the competition last year and we will look to their experience to guide the way. Our goal is to be a better team each week as the season progresses.”

Nashoba Tech

League: Colonial Athletic League

Last Year’s Record: 3-12

Captains: Danny St. Amand, jr., catcher; Kyle Girard, jr., pitcher/first base; Liam O’Neil, sr., utility; Aaron Henry, sr., utility.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Evan Stripp, jr., utility; Ben Peppin, jr., utility.

Promising Newcomers: Oliver Storlazzi, soph., pitcher/shortstop; Murphy Senical, soph., pitcher/infield; Cole Currier, soph., third base; Micah Wells, fr., infield; Gavin Adams, fr., pitcher/utility; Andrew Ferriera, soph., outfield; Kai MacKassey, fr., pitcher/second base.

Coach Zach Lebowitz (1st season): “I feel we have a good young group buying into the new culture which holds the kids accountable within themselves and from the coaches. Our young talent is very experienced at the AAU level and will bring good fundamentals, hard work and effort along with them. I feel we will surprise many people this upcoming season.”

North Middlesex

League: Mid Wachusett B Division
Last Year’s Record: 6-8

Senior Captains: Michael Arbuckle, pitcher/third base; Jadin Brooks, outfield; Brisean Evicci, pitcher/first base; Aidan Gallagher, second base; Michael Lewis, outfield; Andrew Murray, catcher/outfield.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Michael Archambault, jr., pitcher/first base/OF; Ashton Donia, jr., pitcher/first base; Colin Lake, jr., catcher/outfield; Kyle Lewis, soph., pitcher/second base; Mason Livezey, soph., shortstop; Kyle Lynch,  jr., pitcher/third base.

Promising Newcomers:  Ryan Arsenault, fr., pitcher/shortstop; Cameron Haley, soph., third base; Brady Reardon, fr., outfield/shortstop; Michael Reardon, soph., outfield/shortstop.

Coach Jim Beauregard (3rd season, 28th overall): “We have 12 returning players from last season and a strong mix of young additions. We return four starting pitchers from last season and have more arms behind them. Offensively and defensively we hope to improve from last season.”

Pelham

League: New Hampshire Division 2

Captains: Alex Carroll, jr., pitcher; Scott Paquette, jr., catcher.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Henry Paquette, soph., pitcher; Aiden Patten, jr., pitcher; Cesar Martinez, jr., pitcher.

Promising Newcomers: Derek Muise, jr.; Zach James, soph.; Matt Todino, jr., outfield; Kyle Bowan, jr., outfield.

Coach Tony Bolduc (1st year): “This year we have no seniors on the team and are comprised of juniors and sophomores. Four of the returning juniors were previous starters from last season. Several were able to get some playing time have some varsity experience.  Our team has great chemistry and if we can get our bats to be consistent, I feel we will be very competitive this year. This team is poised for a strong two-year run with lots of talent. The kids have shown a good sense of baseball IQ. I’m hoping to be a strong competitor in the playoffs.”

Shawsheen Tech

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 14-2, league champions

Returning Letterwinners: Ryan Santini , sr., outfield/pitcher; Shane Costello, sr., outfield/pitcher; Owen Duggan, sr., third base; Mavrick Bourdeau, jr., shortstop; Mike Maselli, jr., first base; Brendan Lee, soph., catcher.

Promising newcomers: Jack Glennon, sr., pitcher; Conlen Powell, jr., pitcher; Evan Galanis, soph., outfield; Aiden MacLeod, jr., infield/pitcher; Robbie Welch, fr., catcher/utility.

Coach Brian McCarthy (10th season): “We graduated a lot of talented seniors from last year’s CAC title team. However, we bring back a good core group. Our returners have been tremendous leaders throughout the pre-season and into the first two weeks of the season. They’re working hard and hungry to get back out there and defend their CAC title. The CAC will be competitive again this year with Greater Lowell, Northeast, and Greater Lawrence returning young, talented teams.”

Tewksbury

League: Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2

Last Year’s Record: 5-11

Captains: Dylan Paulding, jr., first base/pitcher; Aidan Crogan, sr., catcher; Michael Sullivan, jr., infield/pitcher; David Miller, sr., outfield/pitcher.

Other Returning Letterwinner: Kodie LeGrand, jr., third base/pitcher.

Promising Newcomers: Zachary Russo, fr., pitcher; Blake Ryder, jr., pitcher/outfield; Zachary Hayes, soph., outfield/pitcher; Matthew Cooke, soph., infield/pitcher; Phil Lombardi, fr., pitcher; Ben O’Keefe, jr., first base; Tristan Leslie, jr., infield; Logan Auth, sr., outfield; Andrew Della Piana, sr., outfield; Ryan Flynn, jr., outfield.

Coach Kirk Monbleau (7th season): “We’re just excited to get back out here. The first week of tryouts went really well and now we’re getting outside. I think the kids are excited about that. I have reminded them that last year was a shorten season with COVID and the year before we had nothing, so this is the first full season we’ve had in a while. We’re all excited for that.”

Tyngsboro

League: Mid-Wach D

Last Year’s Record: 12-6

Senior Tri-Captains: Ryan Guilmette, pitcher/outfield; JT Shaffer, outfield; Brandon St. Gelais, pitcher/first base.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Jimmy O’Keefe, jr., infielder; Nick Ausiello, jr., infielder; Adam Dorant, jr., pitcher/infielder; Andrew Duarte, soph., pitcher/infielder; Tim Guilmette, soph., catcher/outfielder; Connor St. Gelais, sr., pitcher/infielder; Ryan Wall, soph., pitcher/infielder; Christos Panagakis, soph., pitcher/infielder.

Promising Newcomers: Gavin Hehir, jr., outfielder; Matt Lemay, jr., outfielder; Matt Wagner, jr., outfielder; Gavin Latour, jr., catcher/first base; Owen Wheeler, soph., outfielder; Jake Hannes, fr., pitcher/catcher; Ryan Manning, fr., outfielder.

Coach Ken Connerty (16th Year): We are very excited for this years team. We are led by our three senior captains Ryan Guilmette, JT Shaffer, and Brandon St. Gelais who are all very talented players. We have depth on our pitching staff and although we are young we have experience at multiple positions. We have an outstanding coaching staff. Expectations are high.”

Westford Academy

League: Dual County League

Last Year’s Record: 13-5

Captains: Cole Kirby, sr., catcher; Damien Digiovine, sr., third base; Matt Morash, jr., pitcher/outfielder.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Nic Bonica, soph., pitcher/infield; Jake Cullen, soph., pitcher/outfield; Anthony Guggio, jr., pitcher/infield; Tomas Ho, jr., catcher/infielder; Kevin Fitzgerald, jr., pitcher/outfielder; Ben Mulgrew, jr., infield; Tyler Baker, sr., pitcher/outfielder; Carson Cormier, sr., first base/pitcher; Griffin Eddy, sr., first base/outfield/pitcher.

Promising Newcomers: Tyler Frazee, soph., infield; James McDermott, soph., infield/catcher; Jack Reimer, jr., infield; Adam Lemieux, sr., infield/pitcher; Michael Lucente, sr., outfield; Daniel Proos, sr., outfield/pitcher.

Coach Mike Parent (7th season):  “A great group of kids to coach as they love to play America’s Pastime, work hard and enjoy each other. It’s fun to be out there with them everyday.”

Wilmington

League: Middlesex League Freedom Division

Last Year’s Record: 3-11

Senior Co-Captains: Matt Vinal, catcher; Joe Dynan, pitcher/infield.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Jacob Roque, sr., pitcher/third base; Jack Twoomey, sr., pitcher/shortstop; Nate Packer, sr., outfield.

Promising Newcomers: Jayden Balter, fr., first base/pitcher; Austin Harper, soph., outfield/pitcher; Patrick Stokes, jr., outfield/pitcher; Michael Monteforte, jr., second base/pitcher; Brett Ebert, jr., second base; Brian Curdo, sr., first base; Liam Dwyer, sr., outfield; Lars Ostebo, soph., pitcher.

Coach Aldo Caira (21st season): “I can already see this year’s team meshing. It’s just going to be a better season this year. I don’t know how many games we’re going to win, but I think we’ll be competitive.”

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