Ask Masconomet senior Joe Klingensmith if he thinks of himself as a hitter or as a pitcher, and the answer is a coach’s and purist’s dream.
He thinks of himself as a baseball player.
The Chieftain tri-captain is one of the North Shore’s most dangerous dual threats, equally able to win games for his team with his bat and his arm. He’s earned the win in two of Masco’s four victories so far in 2014, and has two homers on top of that.
“I consider myself an athlete. I can do anything the team needs, and there’s so many of us on this team that are contributing in both hitting and pitching that it works for us,” said Klingensmith, who plays first base when he’s not on the hill and typically bats in the No. 3 spot. “Everybody’s coming up with the effort, whether its on the mound, on the bases or in the field.”
Klingensmith isn’t exagerating the pitching depth of the defending Division 2 North champs. Tommy Budrewicz, another captain and outfielder, can throw when needed, and second baseman Will Twiss is also a regular in the rotation. Ethan Dyer is a strong pitcher, and positional players Elias Varinos and Sam Hamburger can also throw when needed.
“We have eight or nine guys we trust on the mound,” said Masco coach T.J. Baril, in his second year with the Chieftains. “We only need guys to throw five innings because there’s so many arms we can go to.”
Masco’s offense has been nothing short of dynamic at the quarter-pole of the regular season. The Chieftains have scored 10 or more runs three times, and Klingensmith is the lynchpin in the middle of their batting order.
“He does a lot at the plate for us,” said Baril. “He’s played a lot of baseball and been in a lot of different situations, so whatever we ask him to do he usually does it.”