The Circle Voice

Team Preview: Boys Varsity Baseball

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Another long Groton winter is in the books, and it is time to put away the hockey skates and basketball sneakers to make room for baseball gloves and bats.

 

Boys varsity baseball is eagerly anticipating the start of a new season. However, they experienced quite a shake-up in the offseason. Director of Tim Leroy left his assistant coaching role for paternity leave, and was replaced by Preston Bannard, former head coach of the junior varsity team, and Scott Patterson, the founder of North East Baseball. Captain Jay Montima ‘18 says he is not worried about the coaching change-up: “Obviously, it’s going to be a bit weird not to have Leroy as part of the squad anymore. But the two new coaches have a lot of experience and expertise. It will take a bit of getting used to, but I don’t think it’s a negative thing at all.”

 

The roster of the varsity baseball team, however, has barely changed. Only one senior graduated from the team last year, and there are only two new players: Robbie Long and Walker Smith ‘21. “It’s nice that we have so many guys from last year,” says Jay. “Everyone’s put in a lot of work in the offseason so we’re already looking stronger than we did at the beginning of the season last year. We had a really young team, and this extra year with all the same players is looking to go really well.” Dan Herdiech ‘18 adds: “I’ve never been part of a team with so many returning players. One guy who’s really stood out so far is Robbie. Even though our season’s just starting out, he’s hitting great. It’s awesome to see such improvement from someone who still has so much time to get better.”

 

The pitching rotation will closely align with that of last year, consisting of Nick David ‘18, Dan, Shane Kim ‘19, and Josh Nam ‘20. The lineup is yet to be determined, and will most certainly vary throughout the season, but features Jay Montima hitting at the beginning of the order, with Luke Beckstein ‘20 and Robbie bringing the power at the four and five spots. Co-captain Bennett Smith ‘19 will miss the beginning of the season due to a shoulder injury, but will be replaced as shortstop by Luke.

 

Bennett  thinks the team has to be more consistent in order to beat last year’s record : “It obviously looks like we have a strong team this year,” he says. “Last year we beat a lot of good teams but lost to a couple weaker ones. I don’t want to make any guarantees, but if we can rise to the occasion this year and close out those easier games, it’s looking like it’s going to be a good season.”

 

Clearly, the team is confident in their roster and ability. They will face some tough competition – notably Lawrence Academy, St. Sebastian’s, Nobles and Greenough, and St. Mark’s – and only time will tell if their season will live up to the expectations they have set.

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