MVRHS baseball gears up for new season

Underclassmen will play a key role in team’s success.

Theo Gallagher and the rest of the Vineyarders had a lot to smile about in a playoff win over Hanover in 2017. — Ralph Stewart

The 2018 MVRHS boys baseball team opens its season on Monday, April 9, in a non-league matchup at Falmouth High School. According to Coach Gary Simmons, it will be a younger, less experienced Vineyard squad that takes the field this year, one he’s eager to work with. “We graduated a lot of starters from last year’s playoff team,” he said, “and we’re looking to the younger classes to fill those roles.”

The 2017 team was among the most successful in the school’s history, posting a 14-8 record and advancing to the MIAA Division 3 South Sectional semifinals. The playoff run included wins over Hanover and Dedham.

From that squad, only five seniors return. They include shortstop and 2018 captain Sam Bresnick, catcher Nick Fiore, pitcher Jack Sierputoski, and outfielders Theo Gallagher and Nick Bischoff. Bresnick, Fiore, and Gallagher are returning starters.

The lack of experience may be felt most acutely in the team’s pitching. With Jack Sierputoski the only returning pitcher, there’s ample opportunity for younger hurlers to contribute.

Coach Simmons and his staff have already gotten a good look at their young team. The squad spent the February school vacation week in Vero Beach, Fla., where they stayed and worked out at Dodgertown, the longtime spring training home of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. “We played scrimmage games against six other northern teams, and really got a chance to see what the young kids can do,” said the coach. “We are very excited to see them develop this season as we form a new roster.”

For Coach Simmons, the 2018 season marks two milestones: It will be his 20th year as a high school baseball coach, and this will be the Vineyarders’ last season as a member of the Eastern Athletic Conference. The league schedule gets underway on April 11 with a visit to Bishop Stang. The home opener at Vineyard Baseball Park is set for April 13 at 3:15 pm against EAC rival Bishop Feehan.

“This will be a good year to win our first EAC title,” he observed. With that in mind, it’s time to play ball!