After a two loss start to the season, Central Baseball has switched gears and is steadily climbing in performance as the post-season quickly approaches. Before the season even started, the pandemic hit home for the Little Green, as their coach was required to be quarantined less than a week before Central’s first game. This put Central a few steps behind other New Hampshire teams, but they have recently gotten the ball rolling… fast.
Following a thrilling inter-city win against Trinity on May 12th, the team used their momentum to earn them two more, including a win against an incredibly strong Concord squad. Varsity newcomer, sophomore Declan Ryan, was greatly credited for the win at the plate. Ryan collected two doubles and a single for the Little Green in the 3-0 win, batting in the cleanup spot. “[Declan] has stepped up for us offensively as a four spot hitter, defensively at 1st, and even on the mound when needed,” says junior starting catcher David Hood. The very next day, Ryan, as well as junior Jake Vachon, collected two doubles in the nail-biter 9-8 win at home against Keene. Highlights included a three run rally in the 6th led by juniors Tyler Chrabolowski and Andrew Houghton.
Central’s offensive firepower is led by juniors Griffin Logue, Jake Vachon, Andrew Houghton and sophomore Declan Ryan. On the mound, Houghton is masterful, as he works to keep batters off balance by throwing breaking balls, off-speed change-ups, and painting the corners of the strike zone. On the defensive end, the junior starting shortstop Dylan Schuff has quick feet and hands. Schuff is able to keep many runners off base and even catch them stealing, receiving throwdowns from starting catcher David Hood. Additionally, centerfielder Jake Vachon has continuously shown out for the Little Green this season. “Jake has been incredibly reliable all year, whether it is at the plate or in the field,” mentions senior captain Thomas Mulholland.
When it comes to leadership, senior co-captains Thomas Mulholland and Michael Girard work in tandem to keep the team cohesive. Thomas, a hard-to-come-by left handed pitcher, is committed to play baseball at Saint Anselm College. As a quiet leader, he has been able to lead by example either on the mound or making critical plays in the outfield. “I try to encourage everyone to enjoy the team and game over their own personal stats and motives. We all show up everyday, have a good time, put in the work, and pick each other up when needed,” says Thomas. The graduating 2021 seniors this season, Thomas Mulholland, Neury Ozoria, and Michael Girard, are happy with the team they will leave behind.
As earlier mentioned, Covid-19 struck early for the Little Green when it came to quarantines, however, it struck even earlier for their overall season. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Senior seasons were lost, players abandoned the sport, and recruiting at the middle schools for baseball was nearly impossible. This season, Central has fielded a sole varsity team, as there are not enough players for a JV or freshman team. This lack of participation is evident in many other spring sports, including softball, with only 10 girls in the entire program. Boys lacrosse was even forced to join forces with Memorial due to low numbers.
Despite a deficit in players, Central Baseball has remained strong throughout with new Head Coach Ernie Yerrington and will be wrapping up the regular season with two intriguing games against city rival Memorial.