As the season ended, Malden High School’s baseball team worked hard and played harder. As stated by coach Kevin Carpentino, “We’ve actually [had a] pretty good [season].” As the team continued to power its way through the “grind”, the members were always ready for more, and were able to keep spirits high. With the captains pushing the players to give it all, Carpentino admitted that “[their team was very] motivated [and] they [liked] to play baseball.”
It was that exact motivation that had kept the team so determined, even through some of the hardships that the season had brought. As one of the captains, senior Nick Powers, explained that “[the captains had] to talk it up and get the other guys off the bench, so it’s really a big position.” The position had no doubt been left in capable hands, as this approach to the team proved successful. An over-all eagerness filled the team both in the field and in the dugouts, as the team was always quick to encourage their members with either familiar gestures, encouraging words, or even an occasional wise-crack.
While every team has its key players and important positions, it seems that every player and every position on MHS’s team was just as important as any other. Some players may have a more colorful record than others, but it was obvious that the carefully constructed architecture of teamwork found throughout the team was the key power that the team held. Without one player, the others could not proficiently perform to their full potential, and so, it seems the well oiled-machine, the MHS’s baseball team, really was the sum of all its parts.
Along with the team’s returning veterans, it would seem that the new blood mixed in quite well, and were able to prove themselves as capable members of the team. Receiving new players from not only MHS, but Malden Catholic as well, proved a valuable asset to the team. New members from MHS are always welcome, but the integration of Malden Catholic members as well was welcomed within the team. Carpentino explained, “next year’s crew will be mixed in with both the freshman team and junior varsity team.” With these expectations set in, next year’s team holds as much promise as it did this year.
The fruits of the team’s labor were shown, as the team was able to obtain its place in the State Tournament. The team may have had its rough spots during the season, but they performed proficiently enough to make it to the State Tournament. Some of the games in particular that shined in the team’s record this year, were the games against Melrose on April 13th, and East Boston, on April 24th. The team was able to rack up impressive scores in these games along with a few others, the scores being 9-1 (April 13th) and 12-3 (April 24.) From most of games won, however, it seems that the team delivered crushing if not near-crushing scores, with only one game being particularly close with a single-point difference.
Carpentino talked about some of the team’s veterans, mentioning “we’ve got the three senior [captains] - Chuckie Gibson, Nick Powers, and Johnny Willcox - that have been a big part of the last few teams. [Gibson] started as a freshman, so he will be missed. He’s played about 80 games on varsity, so he’s been around.” As old friends leave, new ones are made.
The team consisted of a handful of seniors who had led their team to the state tournament, but fell short to St. John’s Prep in the second round of the tournament. Regardless of not passing the second round, the baseball team ended the season with great memories.