SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

MARBLEHEAD MAGICIANS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014

BASEBALL

Last year’s record: 5-15

Head coach: Jason Tarasuik (9th season)

Players to watch: John Cavolina, Sr., P; Matt Koopman, So., IF; Tom Koopman, Sr., C; Trey Blackmer, Sr., OF; Jordan Chmara, Sr., P; Jake Marsden, Jr., IF; Kyle Maulden, Sr., P.

Strengths: Pitching. John Cavolina was reliable and strong in the majority of his outings last season and will give the Magicians a chance every time he’s on the bump. Kyle Maulden and Jordan Chmara provide depth after playing a variety of roles last year.

Concerns: Run production. The Magicians graduated one of the better on-base guys in the NEC in Connor Green and will need to find a leadoff replacement. Speedy outfielder Trey Blackmer is a candidate, and if Marblehead gets runners on base, catcher Tom Koopman is more than capable of knocking them in.

Coach’s Outlook: Marblehead made the state tournament two straight years before last season’s speed bump. With a little more clutch hitting and pitching that comes through, they could be back in the state tourney this spring and may even contend for the Northeastern Conference Small crown.

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 14-7 (Lost in Division 2 North first round)

Head coach: Johnny Gold (9th season)

Captains: Michaela Leblanc, Sr., P; Olivia Vener, Sr., SS; McKenna Barrett, Sr., 1B; Rachel McKay, Sr., CF.

Key returnees: Allison Kapoll, So., LF; Sarah Bornstein, So., 3B; Emily Messinger, Jr., C; Emily Promise, So., 2B; McKensie Joyce, So., OF; Taylor Bouchard, Jr., OF.

Strengths: The Magicians return two-time Northeastern Conference and Salem News all-star Michaela Leblanc, who became the all-time winningest pitcher in school history with 32 victories last season. Marblehead also has strong defense and welcome a solid group of freshmen players.

Concerns: A strong conference and the six non-league opponents the Magicians face this season.

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