By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Team: Shrewsbury High School
Coach: Lee Diamantopoulos
2011 Showcase league stats: 4 – 0. 26 inning pitched, 26 strikeouts, with a 0.54 earned run average.
?What are some of your earliest baseball memories?
“Some of my earliest memories would be playing for Shrewsbury Little League. I really didn's know if I was going to like it, but the first time I stepped on the mound, I knew it was what I wanted to do. It gave me one the greatest feelings I ever had as a kid.”
Has any coach or teammate pushed you to keep with the sport?
“I would definitely have to say my Worcester Heat AAU coach Nate Sorenson pushed me the hardest. He showed what it takes to become a better player. My friends and family also have always supported me also.”
What's it like currently playing for Shrewsbury Legion?
“Shrewsbury Legion is by far the best baseball I'se played. Everyone on the team is very supportive and great to be around. My coaches, Frank Vaccaro Sr. and his son, Frankie, are two of the best coaches I'se ever had. They know a lot about the game, and make sure all the kids are having fun, no matter win or lose. They always show us how to get better, and never give up on us.”
You also played in last year's Showcase League; how was that?
“Showcase League was very fun. The competition was outstanding, and I's definitely playing again this summer. Last year, my team lost in the finals, but it was a good game, and I couldn's of been happier with the experience.”
How has your pitching improved over the past few years?
“Over the past few years, I feel my game has tremendously improved. Although I suffered a strained rotator cuff and couldn's play for SHS this past season, I just kept working out, and get ready for the Legion season. Once Legion started, I felt great. My fastball definitely lost some velocity, but I's working on getting it back. Also, my curveball and change-up have improved a lot from working with my pitching coach, Ed Riley. Everything's finally coming together.”
Would you like to play baseball in college?
“Playing baseball in college is a dream, and I would love to play. I have quite a few surrounding schools looking at me but right now, but I haven's decided. I still have my last year in high school, and need to focus on that right now.”
What other sports/activities do you enjoy outside of baseball?
“I love fishing and going out with my friends. If I had to pick a sport other than baseball, it would definitely have to be football. Also, BMX biking, which I's actually pretty good at.”
Who is your favorite professional baseball player?
“New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana, because I like how he pitches. He doesn's have the fastest fastball in the game, but he mixes up his pitches very well, and keeps the batters off balance, kind of like me. I don's throw too hard, but I love mixing up my pitches, and making the batter guess.”
What has been your single greatest moment in baseball?
“My greatest moment would be when I was 13, playing in the New England AAU super division championship as a member of the Worcester Heat. I was playing right field, and we had a one -run lead. The opposing team had the bases loaded, and the batter hit a shot to me. I made a crazy, difficult catch to win the game. It was great because my whole team, including the coaches, came and piled on top of me. It was a feeling I could never forget, and was one of the greatest moments of my life.”