High School Baseball Preview Capsules


North Division

Coach: Bob Moynihan, 31st year

Last year: 11-11, lost to East Longmeadow in Western Mass. Division I quarterfinal

Key returnees: Tanner Hanford, Sr. P; Ryan Grande, Jr. P; Dom Traversa, Jr. C; Justin Hopkins, Sr. P/2B; Kevin Donati, Soph. SS.

Things you should know.

• After missing the tournament for only the fourth time in 29 years, the Generals got back in Moynihan's 30th season -- beating Ludlow but losing in extra innings to East Longmeadow.

 Pittsfield had 45 players originally sign up, the Generals' largest tryout total in several seasons. Moynihan will go with 13 on the varsity and 15 on the junior varsity.

 The Generals are fairly strong up the middle with Traversa behind the dish, Hopkins and Donati at the keystone and Connor Murphy in center. 


Coach: Kevin Stannard, 22nd year

Last year: 13-7, lost to West Springfield in Western Mass. D-I first round

Key returnees: Brian Bonacquisti, Sr. C; Jordan Barbarotta, Sr. P/OF; Alex Carusotto, Jr. 2B/P;

Things you should know:

 Taconic will not have pitcher Liam Nolan, who was lost to the season after having Tommy John surgery in the offseason. Hunter Stanton, who Stannard had pencilled in as his cleanup hitter, tore an ACL and won't play.

 With the loss of Nolan, Stannard is going to give the ball to seniors Barbarotta, Kyle Card and junior Steve Witkowski. Witkowski was part of that Babe Ruth team that went to the World Series last summer.

 While the pitching is being rebuilt some, the veteran Taconic coach said this year's team could do more offensively than last year. He said "I think we have some pop this year."


Coach: Al Marceau, ninth year

Last year: 8-10

Key returnees: Cody Primmer, Sr. C; Kodey Bryce, Sr. P/1B; Nolan Bird Sr. LF; Ryan Ouimet, Sr. CF; Kareen Beckett, Jr. RF.

Things you should know:

 Marceau has a large group of younger players this year. They're going to need to come through because veteran Alex Bush will miss the season with an injury.

 The Drury outfield is where the experience lies. Bird, Ouimet and Beckett will provide veteran leadership and skills.

 Bryce and juniors Tyler Cote and Tyler Briggs will likely start the season as Marceau's rotation.

Monument Mountain

Coach: Tom Hankey, 13th year

Last year: 19-4, lost to South Hadley in Western Mass. D-II final

Key returnees: Dan Meandro, Sr. 1B; Bobby Kinne, Jr. SS; Peter Oggiani, Jr. P/2B; Christian Callahan, Jr. P; T.J. Shumsky, Jr. C.

Things you should know:

 Meandro will be the only senior in Monument's starting lineup. Hankey said this is going to be a young team, and he'll carry two or three freshmen on the varsity.

 Oggiani and Callahan have big shoes to fill on the mound, having to replace the graduated Wilson Flower and Nick Greenleaf.

 Shumsky replaces Greenleaf behind the plate. Shumsky was moved to second base last year after John Kinne had Tommy John surgery. But Shumsky is a catcher by trade.


Coach: Jared Shannon, second year

Last year: 9-11

Key returnees: Lane Grogan Sr. C; Joe DiMassimo, Sr. 2B/P; Ethan Wells, Jr. SS.

Things you should know:

 Grogan, DiMassimo and Wells are the returning starters this year, and will provide the Warriors with on-field leadership.

 The Warriors just missed making the Division II tournament. Having 7 one-run losses last year will do that.

 Shannon is optimistic for the future of the program. There are 14 freshman who will primarily be on the junior varsity this year.

South Division
St. Joseph

Coach: Dennis Murphy, first year

Last year: 10-12, lost to Mount Everett in Western Mass. D-III quarterfinal

Key returnees: Mike Carpenter, Sr. SS/P; Zach Neary, Sr. OF/P; Jon Bianchi, Sr. CF/P; Joey Bongini, Sr. 2B.

Things you should know:

 Murphy has played and coached at St. Joseph. He graduated in 1982, and played for Tony Simonelli. He coached under Chris Harrington, Chris Barbarotta and Dan Caritey at St. Joe.

 The Crusaders are pretty strong up the middle with Carpenter at short, Bongini at second and Bianchi in center field.

 When asked what kind of team Murphy will have, he simply said "Our style is go." Expect the Crusaders to manufacture runs and depend on the athletic ability of their players.

Mount Greylock

Coach: Steve Messina, 22nd year

Last year: 16-6, lost to eventual champion South Hadley in Western Mass. D-II semifinal

Key returnees: Andrew Leitch, Sr. P/3B; Eric Leitch, Sr. SS; Sean Houston, Sr. CF; Nick DiSanti, Jr. C.

Things you should know:

 Messina's team is deep and experienced. But the Mounties have a key newcomer in left-hander Tyler Picard. The football and basketball standout is making his first foray into baseball, and Messina said Picard has a strong arm.

 This team could be as strong up the middle as anyone in Berkshire County -- or in Division II. SS Eric Leitch could play any place on the field. Berkshire County coaches say he's the best shortstop in the league.

 Eric's brother Andrew is Messina's No. 1 starter, with junior Robbie Buffis and sophomore Ian Brink next in line. Ben Coleman gives the Mounties a left-handed presence in the rotation.


Coach: Kevin Downer, eighth year

Last year: 7-14, lost to Lee in Western Mass. D-III preliminary round

Key returnees: Austin Salnitis, Sr. P/OF; Jake Jourdain, Jr. P/SS; Tom Duffin, Sr. C; Tristan Vaber, Sr. 3B.

Things you should know:

 Salnitis, who Downer calls one of the best pitchers in Berkshire County, has gotten a little stronger and the lefty has been working on a slider to go with his fastball and curve.

 The Millionaires have a pretty veteran group up the middle with Duffin behind the plate, Jourdain at short and Trevor Hathaway at second. Hathaway is only a sophomore, but he has plenty of experience.

 Downer said the Millionaires should hit better than they did a year ago. A lot of his starters were in their first year of varsity play, and learned on the fly.


Coach: Chip Cummings, third year

Last year: 7-15, lost to Frontier Regional in Western Mass. D-III first round

Key returnees: J.T. Brown, Sr. P/1B; Heamon Williams, Jr. C/P; Matt Consolati, Jr. SS/P; Kenny Retzel, Sr. 3B.

Things you should know:

 Williams is going into his third year as the starter for the Wildcats. He's been a mainstay of the Wildcats' lineup.

 The Wildcats beat Lenox in a preliminary-round Western Mass. game last year. Cummings said he'd like to build off a 1-1 record in the postseason and be more competitive in the region.

 The Lee starting rotation are veterans, but are all still juniors. Brown and Consolati are righties, while Jake Simon throws left-handed.

Hoosac Valley

Coach: Bob Rivard, 20th year

Last year: 11-10, lost to Mount Greylock in Western Mass. D-II quarterfinal

Key returnees: Matt Braman, Jr. P; Justin Nichols, Jr. P; Matt Waltermire, Jr. SS; Sean Ryan-Kut, Jr. 2B.

Things you should know:

• The Hurricanes graduated 10 seniors in 2012, and the Canes don't have much senior leadership. But this Hoosac team has a very large junior class.

 Braman and Nichols make up a 1-2 punch at the top of the Hoosac rotation. Both right-handers got plenty of experience last year.

 Rivard said he is optimistic this team will come together quickly, which it might have to do because the veteran coach said the South Division should be good from top to bottom.

Tri-County League
McCann Tech

Coach: Pat Ryan, second year

Last year: 10-11, lost to Sabis in Western Mass. D-III preliminary round

Key returnees: T.J. Therrien, Sr. C; Dillon Carr, Jr. 3B/C; John LeClair, Sr. LF; Chad Raimer, Sr. CF.

Things you should know:

 Ryan had 45 players come out this year. He's keeping 14 on varsity and 20 on JV. Of those 45, there were 27 freshman and sophomores, which bodes well for the future of the program.

 One of those sophomores, right-hander Sean Davis, will be the No. 1 starter for the Hornets.

 Last year, the Hornets had trouble producing runs. This year, that's been a real emphasis for Ryan and his coaching staff.

Mount Everett

Coach: Jesse Carpenter, 11th year

Last year: 17-9, won Western Mass. D-III title, lost to North Reading in state title game.

Key returnees: Erik Derwitsch, Sr. P/1B; Eli Cook, Sr. P/2B; Sage Angell, Soph. P/CF; John Ormsbee, Sr. P/3B.

Things you should know:

 Winning a title has kids in the district juiced up. Carpenter said he had 42 players come out for the team. There are 18 seventh and eighth graders, and the veteran coach said he's going to try to put together a limited schedule of games for them.

 Derwitsch is a four-year pitcher, and in 21 innings of Western and state semifinal baseball, he has yet to give up a run. In four tournament games lat year, he only gave up two earned runs.

 All-Eagle wrestling MVP Bradley Lupiani will move up from the JV this year and will be the starting shortstop.


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