James Sashin left the Island yesterday to attend Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, after a long baseball season that took the righthanded pitcher across the country.
The 2017 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and his senior Babe Ruth baseball teammates finished second in the nation earlier this month in the Babe Ruth World Series in Ephrata, Wash.
The 6-foot, 6-inch MVRHS football and baseball star has been on major college coaches’ radar for several seasons in both sports. He will play tight end and defensive end for the Cushing Academy Penguins, but he regards his postgrad year as further opportunity to prep for college baseball, which he sees as the next step in his career. Cushing Academy offers a postgraduate year in addition to its 9-12 grade instruction.
Mr. Sashin has attracted particular attention from Holy Cross, Brown, Northeastern, and UMaine, among other big-time collegiate programs, as he begins competition in the Independent School League (ISL).
“My goals are to become stronger, to continue to mature this year. That’s been a major teaching point from Gary Simmons [MVRHS coach] and Dan Proto [Babe Ruth coach]. Retaining focus, keeping emotions in check on the mound, focusing on doing my job,” he said.
That approach has worked well for Mr. Sashin over an 84-game baseball grind this season, including 30 high school contests and 64 Babe Ruth games. At the Babe Ruth World Series, Mr. Sashin contributed six scoreless relief innings for his Cape Cod Babe Ruth squad, which played for the national championship before dropping the finale to Mid-County, Texas.
This spring his MVRHS baseball squad made a record run deep into the state tournament as well.
“It was a really good experience this season, and a great way to branch out. We had a ton of experiences. I never dreamed of competing for a national championship,” he told The Times last week.
This season was Mr. Sashin’s second year in national baseball competition. In 2016, his Cape Cod squad, perennially among the nation’s top teams, finished fifth in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series tourney.