“They’re really setting the table,” Baril said of his first two hitters. “Those two guys have great speed, good baseball instincts and they’re making good decisions. Speros was used to being the leadoff guy, but he’s a contact hitter and he’ll put the ball in play. He does a good job.”
Baril took Swampscott to the state tournament in each of his seven seasons coaching the Big Blue and won 90 games there, meaning when Masco qualified for the state tournament by beating Manchester Essex on Monday it was his 100th win as a varsity head coach.
He implemented his aggressive style right away at Masco, a traditional baseball powerhouse, and they may have been a natural learning curve.
“It comes from baserunning. We wanted to be aggressive and that could’ve gotten us in some trouble early on because we went from aggressive to reckless. We were running into outs,” said Baril. “Right now, we’re really focused on what we’re going and we’re putting guys in the right spots to be successful.”
Speros Varinos, who will play at Tufts next year, has been Masco’s No. 1 pitcher when he’s not at shortstop. Will Twiss and Klingensmith have filled in the typical three-man rotation, though the Chieftains are getting valuable innings from outfielder Troy Bunker, Greg Jain, Budrewicz, Sam Hamburger and Ethan Dyer. Catcher Mike Manni has been strong handling the staff.
“All those guys have pitched important innings in big games,” said Baril. “We have depth and guys are doing a good job serving in their roles.”
Masco lost a 12-inning game to Lynnfield and fell to undefeated North Reading in 10 innings in April. The Hornets have already clinched the Cape Ann League title, though the Chieftains get another shot at some bragging rights on Saturday (3 p.m.) at home.