Meet the region’s three American Legion baseball teams

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Meet the region’s three American Legion baseball teams
Shrewsbury Post 397 celebrates after winning the Zone 4 championship last year. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

REGION – Summer baseball is here.

American Legion Baseball, which dates back to 1925, brings together almost 50,000 players and over 2,900 teams from across the country. The players range from high school freshmen to 19-year-old rising college sophomores. Teams are sponsored by American Legion posts, and, depending on the location, may be able to draw players from several neighboring communities to create a roster.

Here’s what you need to know about the local teams. The Community Advocate will have coverage of these teams as they fight for a spot in the 97th American Legion World Series, which will take place in Shelby, N.C., in August.

Shrewsbury Post 397

After winning Zone 4 last year and suffering narrow losses in the state and regional tournaments, Shrewsbury Post 397 is returning this season with a younger team, balanced out by a cast of reliable veterans. The team has started the year hot.

“We want to win the zone again. As long as you get into the playoffs, you have a chance. I’m focused on making sure we have enough wins to make it to the playoffs. The back half of the year is where it matters. If things fare the way they should fare, we’ll make the playoffs. That’s the goal,” said longtime Post 397 Coach Frank Vaccaro.

Post 397 is led by strong pitching, including Catholic Conference MVP Brady Shea, who pitched for Saint John’s in the MIAA Division 1 championship game in early June. Brady Chenevert, Connor Herlihy and Worcester State University’s Tedy Cove are also members of the pitching staff.

“Pitching is the key; I think we have enough of it,” said Vaccaro. “We’ve got good balance, good speed. Pitching and defense are our keys. Teams with great pitchers can win — that’s what you need in these regional tournaments. If you’re nine pitchers deep, and we are, you’re going to be tough to beat.”

The Shrewsbury lineup is chock-full of dangerous bats as well. Shortstop Jimmy Mitchell and second-baseman JJ Ferguson bat toward the top of the order, with Owen Mongeon, Noah Basgaard, Jack Roche and Tommy Kursonis providing valuable at-bats. Post 397 had a seven-game stretch of scoring double-digit runs in June.

Twitter: @Post397

Hudson Post 100

Hudson Post 100 is here to prove that experience makes a difference.

The team has 18 athletes on the roster, including nine college players, four recent graduates and four rising seniors. Anthony Moura is the sole junior on this battle-tested Hudson squad.

“We have a lot of experience, up and down the roster. We have a lot of college guys that came back from their college seasons. We have players that didn’t play in college but they’re of college age. We have a lot of high-school seniors,” Post 100 Head Coach Ryan Bowen told the Community Advocate.

The team prides itself on taking “really good at-bats,” said Bowen. Bobby Long, Jr., a Hudson High School graduate and college player at Lasell University, and Chase Donahue have been at the heart of a lineup that has surged in recent weeks, helping the team win seven consecutive games in June.

The pitching staff, which includes Donahue, has also been dominant. Connor Madden and Teddy McFarland — two 2023 Hudson High School graduates — have lent their arms to the Post 100 team, while Michael Atwater and Littleton’s Ryan Graf have pitched quality innings. Michael Domino, the former ace at Advanced Math and Science Academy, also joins the pitching staff.

Hudson — which defeated Shrewsbury, last year’s Zone 4 champion, in a come-from-behind 3-2 win in June — has high hopes for the season, but the team is focusing on the present for now.

“We’re trying to take it day by day… There’s really no other way to go about it,” said Bowen.

Twitter: @HudsonPost100

Meet the region’s three American Legion baseball teams
Hudson’s Michael Atwater hurls a pitch toward home plate plate while competing against East Side Post 201 on June 27. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Northborough Post 234

With players from Algonquin, Westborough, Saint Mark’s, Noble and Greenough School, and Saint John’s, this Northborough Post 234 squad is just beginning to gel. After narrowly losing in the zone semifinals last year, the team is now looking to register some wins and get hot down the stretch.

“Our pitching has been very good. We’re starting to get the offense going and we’re trying to play well in all three phases of the game — defense, pitching, and offense,” Post 234 Head Coach Ken MacDonald said.

Nine of the team’s players hail from Algonquin, where MacDonald is also the head coach.

Meet the region’s three American Legion baseball teams
Jackson Redfern tosses the ball while facing Cherry Valley Post 443 on June 26. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Jackson Redfern, the team’s ace, is one of those players. The southpaw is joined on the pitching staff by two more Algonquin teammates: Will Mahoney and Quinn Salvi, who is committed to play at Anna Maria College. The trio has provided quality starts for Post 234 throughout the season.

Northborough’s offense was inconsistent to start the season, but is now getting into form. Joe Russell, who has batted lead-off for most of the year, is a threat at the top of the order. Conor Secrist — the Saint John’s rising junior whose walk-off hit sent the Pioneers to the MIAA Division 1 semifinals — and Zach Meehl are also big pieces in this Post 234 lineup. It’s just about the team getting hot, said MacDonald.

“This year, we lost a lot of guys, but we’re starting to get healthy and put some wins together. We’re hoping to get consistent — and we’ll be a dangerous team. We’ve got a resilient group,” he said.

Twitter: @Post234Baseball

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