SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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July 24, 2013

Danvers native Hovey commits to UMass baseball

(Continued)

“That’s been my biggest improvement,” Hovey said. “The lifting program I’ve been on has helped me be more flexible and loose, and I’ve been doing something to get better everyday. It’s been a general maturity thing, learning how to throw different pitches in different counts, and how to control the strike zone.”

Hovey pitched and played both corner infield spots for coach John Toffey at Salisbury. He helped the team win the Western New England title, homering in the playoff semifinals, as the Knights finished 22-1. Salisbury had significant talent, including Georgetown’s Ryley MacEachern, who was drafted by the Phillies.

“We had probably five or six legitimate Division 1 players just in the junior class, so any given game a different school was there to see one of us, and they’d see us all,” said Hovey. “The baseball team at Salisbury went to Florida in March, we played 10 games down there with a lot scouts and against a lot of talented prep schools from other parts of the country.”

Hovey also played defensive end for the Knights football team, who completed a perfect 9-0 season last fall and won the Jack Etter Bowl was one of the NEPSAC New England champions.

“My coach jokes that I’m a baseball player with a football mentality,” said Hovey. “I think academically Salisbury is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The academic structure has been great for me. All the teachers and coaches are very helpful and I’ve met a lot of people from all over the country and really been able to broaden my horizons.”

Also thankful to his dad for always finding new avenues to help him improve, Hovey is looking forward to trying to help the Knights win two more New England titles in football and baseball as a senior. In the distant future, he’s hoping to one day get the chance to pitch at Fenway Park for UMass in the Baseball Beanpot.

“Being a Division 1 pitcher is incredible to think about,” he said. “Everything has really worked out for me and I’m pretty grateful for that.”

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