SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

SWAMPSCOTT BIG BLUE SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014

BASEBALL

Last Year’s Record: 10-12 (Fell in Division 3 North quarterfinals)

Head coach: Jason Calichman (2nd season, 10-12)

Captains: Brendan McDonald, Sr., 1B; Al Wallach, Sr., P; Kyle Waters, Sr., OF.

Other key players: Ryan Cresta, Jr., 3B; Greg Collier, Jr., SS/P; Neil Lorenzi, Sr., OF; Tim DiPietro, Sr., IF; Josh Price, Sr., OF.

Strengths: Depth up and down the lineup. The Big Blue shouldn’t have many easy outs and they’ll be looking to challenge opposing pitching in all nine spots. Brendan McDonald could be primed for a breakout year in run production, while Cresta and Collier swung the stick with success last year.

Concerns: Pitching experience. Graduating No. 1 hurler and strikeout artist Trevor Massey leaves a lot of innings to fill. Senior Al Wallach was outstanding in the rotation as a junior and he’ll be reliable in the top spot. The Big Blue are looking for arms for the rest of the rotation and bullpen to make a run back to the state tournament.

Coach’s Outlook: “We’re playing a really rough schedule, with St. John’s Prep twice and Masconomet. We’re playing teams that will help gets us where we should be. We’re working hard. It’s an unbelievably coachable group with solid senior leadership. It’s been a great first couple of weeks.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 10-10 (Lost in Division 2 North first round to Burlington)

Head coach: Frank Kowalski (5th season)

Captains: Tessa Beane, Sr., OF; Tori Thistle, Sr., IF; Danielle Mayblyum, Sr., P/OF; Sam Rizzo, Jr., P/IF

Strengths: The Big Blue bring back a ton of experience, both regular season and postseason as well as a great attitude.

Concerns: The girls will be learning a new system and new coaching staff.

Coach’s Outlook: “I feel if we stay healthy, we have the makings of a solid team come May.”

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