Young pitchers helped St. Mary’s baseball gain the upper hand
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They say a good pitch will beat a good shot every time, and the St. Mary’s baseball team has lived by that credo during the 2020 season. But it wasn’t just the quality of the pitch that set them apart. Spartans on the edge, it is also the quantity.
In addition to junior ace Aiven Cabral, who pitched 6 1/3 innings for victory in the Division 2 title game on Thursday, the Spartans have relied on a stable of young pitchers like rookie Eric Bridges and sophomores John Nowicki and Tommy Falasca to get through the year.
âIt’s really on the mound this year that I think we’ve been able to part ways,â said St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana. âEric has been huge for us a few times, John and Tommy have both started games for us all year and these guys have all been there. With the pitch count changing the way you can approach a week of matches, the ability to pass the ball to young people and challenge them is a good thing. â
Besides Cabral, Bridges may have had the playoff performance when he threw a full set of four hits to lift the Spartans against Masconomet in the Division 2 North Final. Nowicki and Falasca both started multiple. games during the year, while Nowicki also made two saves, including one in the state title game on Thursday.
Having guys of this caliber behind him is one of the reasons Cabral is never nervous about losing a game, even when he’s not throwing.
âI feel like these guys are still supporting me, and I always protect them,â Cabral said. “We’re family there and I always trust these guys to be important to us.”
That sentiment extends to Colby Magliozzi, who has caught this rotation all year.
âWe’ve had a lot of young guys this year after losing a lot of COVID year shots,â Magliozzi said. âA group of young people had to step in, and they all did when it mattered most. They didn’t look like young guys when they were there, to be sure.
And with so much big game experience early in their high school careers, the sky is now the limit for returning pitchers over the next few years. Cabral will return as a senior ace in 2022, but the Spartans will have at least a reliable four-way rotation in their quest for a triple round.
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St. Mary’s sophomore John Nowicki has become one of the Spartans’ main throwers this season. (Item file photo)
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