SHREWSBURY – Their 2021 season ended with disappointment in the playoffs against Wachusett.
Just under nine months later, the Shrewsbury High School varsity baseball team isn’t soon forgetting that loss as it gets set to start its 2022 season.
“It leaves a sour taste in our mouths,” Head Coach Lee Diamantopoulos told the Community Advocate on Saturday.
Shrewsbury wins preseason scrimmage
The Colonials were in action on the road this weekend for a preseason doubleheader at Wayland High School.
There, they took on the Warriors, striding to a 15-1 win in the first half of the two-game set.
Diamantopoulos watched his team jump out to an early lead with a 4-run first inning.
He continued to watch as Shrewsbury tacked on additional runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, only allowing one run in return for Wayland, which scored in the bottom of the second inning.
Despite the fireworks at the plate, though, neither that first game, nor the one that followed will count toward Shrewsbury’s regular season record this year.
Instead, Diamantopoulos emphasized the value of this as a tune-up opportunity, of sorts.
“We just want to get out here and start developing good routines and good habits, which will hopefully develop into good play,” he said.
He was heartened by the decisive win, but said he saw room for growth.
“The score was good in the first game here and, definitely, I’m happy about that,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot to work on. Hopefully we can continue to do that and be better every day.”
Team returns majority of 2021 squad
Shrewsbury was strong last year, entering the playoffs as a favorite to beat Wachusett in their postseason opener.
Wachusett had lost more games than it had won, including a pair of losses to the Colonials, themselves, just a matter of weeks earlier.
The Mountaineers pulled off the upset, though, advancing to the quarterfinals and ending Shrewsbury’s season.
“Last year is last year,” Diamantopoulos said this month. “We’re starting a new journey here. But, definitely, that was a tough loss to end last season.”
Shrewsbury has returned the majority of its 2021 team this spring, meaning that last year’s playoff memories still feel especially fresh.
Diamantopoulos has a plan for addressing that.
“We’re going to rip open that scab, pour some vinegar on it and see how we react,” he said.
In the meantime, Diamantopoulos said he’s confident in his now veteran squad, which features 11 seniors.
“[We have a] good group of kids and I’m looking forward to, hopefully, a successful season,” Diamantopoulos continued.
Shrewsbury will open its regular season on April 4 at home against Nashoba. That game is scheduled for 4 p.m.