|

Shrewsbury’s Legion baseball excels in summer action

SH Legion 2016-06-27 web-4945By John Orrell, Contributing Writer

Shrewsbury – Don’t blame Shrewsbury Victor R. Quaranta Post 397 American Legion Baseball manager Frank Vaccaro if there’s an extra bounce in his step and inflection of enthusiasm in his voice when he talks about his 2016 squad.

The team, comprised of players from Shrewsbury High and St. John’s High, is a virtual all-star team this summer with players whose respective teams made bold and successful playoff runs this spring. The St. John’s Pioneers qualified for the MIAA Super 8 tournament while the Colonials advanced to Division 1 Central District finals for the second time in as many years.

“This is the best team I’ve had since we went to the states last time (2011),” said Vaccaro. “We have high expectations. These kids have a perfect attitude. They support each other. No one ever complains. This is the year I hope we can go far but as always it’s one game at a time. We’re off to a good start (12-2) and are in first place but we have to stay there.”

“We’ve got a good group of guys with real strong offense,” added starting pitcher Jack Snyder. “Our pitching staff looks great so far. We have good team camaraderie. We all get along really well and have a lot of potential here.”

Vaccaro’s boys of summer lit up Shrewsbury High, their home venue, on June 27 pounding out 15 runs in four innings to send visiting Sturbridge home on the short end of a 15-1 game-shortened decision. Extra base hits were turned in by Adam Twitchell, Dillon Zona, Matt Bonollo and Matt Jackson who each doubled. Twitchell, Tyler McKeon, Nick Martin and Christian Jordan each belted RBI-producing triples.

Vaccaro’s roster is lined with talent from top to bottom. His pitching staff has no weak links with Snyder, Charles Batchelder, Parker Browne, Connor Gaudette, Pat Shaugnessy, Christian Jordan, Alex Black and Matt Stansky, all top-tier hurlers ready to go on any given night.

Around the horn, it’s Black at first along with Zona, Jackson at second, McKeon at shortstop and ever-steady Bonollo at third.

The outfield is in sure hands with Casey Boudreau, Twitchell, Jordan, Sam Shaw and Luke Gorham seeing ample time. Matt Mattero is a Brock Holt-like utility player whose versatility can land him anywhere on any given night. Martin is arguably one of the region’s elite catchers. Twitchell will lend a hand to back him up when needed.

“I give a lot of credit to our pitching staff,” said Martin of his team’s success. “Our team ERA is well below two and when our offense is on and we have pitching like we do, we’re just going to keep rolling.

“We need to keep the bats going. I haven’t caught a better pitching staff than I have this year so as long as our offense is there, we’ll be hard to beat.”

Admission to Legion games is always free. The team plays its home games at Shrewsbury High School. For more information, including schedule, visit the American Legion District 4 website at http://www.district4baseball.com.

Photo/Jeff Slovin

Shrewsbury third baseman Matt Bonollo applies the tag to a sliding Sturbridge runner in a recent game.

Shrewsbury third baseman Matt Bonollo applies the tag to a sliding Sturbridge runner in a recent game.

Shrewsbury starting pitcher Pat Shaugnessy

Shrewsbury starting pitcher Pat Shaugnessy

– Shrewsbury’s Tyler McKeon (#10) is congratulated by team mates after hitting a 2-run home run in a recent game against Sturbridge.

– Shrewsbury’s Tyler McKeon (#10) is congratulated by team mates after hitting a 2-run home run in a recent game against Sturbridge.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=76413

Posted by on Jun 30 2016. Filed under Byline Stories, Photo Galleries, Shrewsbury, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Please complete this math problem before clicking Submit * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Recently Commented

  • Doug Stone: Thanks Peter. I hope to help out in the future.
  • Doug Stone: Thanks for your support as well Gerald!
  • Gerald Griggs: This is fantastic and we in aviation appreciate what Mr. Stone and others are doing to inspire...
  • Peter Alberti: Having caught the aviation bug along with my son just over a year ago at a Young Eagles rally, I...
  • Gina Tiberio Hamilton: Thank you for printing this and raising awareness for the Walk to End Alzheimers. At $6,245,...