SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 2, 2013

Peabody's Batchelor verbally commits to BC

(Continued)

Last year as a freshman at Malden Catholic, Batchelor started out as a catcher but also spent considerable time strengthening the Lancers’ bullpen.

Austin Batchelor has played for Rich Gilbride of Beverly on the Firebirds for the past seven years, and the manager went out of his way to help his star player.

“Rich has done so much for the whole Firebirds team, not just Austin,” said Dave Batchelor, an assistant baseball coach for the Lancers. “He talked to the BC coaches about Austin. I can’t thank him enough for all he has done.”

What made college coaches sit up and take notice of Batchelor first happened at the Lynn Invitational last summer when he was 15, where the lanky right-hander topped out at 90 MPH on the radar gun.

“Gilbride put him on the team as a catcher even though he was pretty young,” his father said. “A couple of kids didn’t show up and he was asked to pitch. That’s when he topped out at 90.

Austin has the perfect pitcher’s body at 6-3 with long arms. There’s ease in his pitching motion, and Coach Gambino thinks when he matures he’ll throw in the 90s.”

The younger Batchelor had no idea how fast he was until he was first clocked on the radar gun, and in doing so surprised both his friends and himself.

“The gun hit 87 earlier last summer; that was the first time I had any idea how hard I was throwing,” Batchelor said. “I wanted to hit 90, but honestly I was just throwing the ball that day in Lynn when I did it.

“I hope I get a chance to pitch for Malden Catholic this season. I’m going to play for the Firebirds again this summer, but the name is changing to East Cobb New England after the program in Georgia, which is the best in the country. It’s a good name to carry, and we’ll be doing a lot of traveling to big tournaments.”

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