After the never ending winter, the Malden High School varsity baseball team is more than ready to bring out their baseball gloves and dust off their cleats. Head coach Kevin Carpenito takes a new approach having no captains this season, this young team with a bunch of returning players plan to make it to the state tournament once again. The team missed the tournament last season, being just three games short from qualifying ending the season 5-13. Not being in the state tournament since 2013, the team is striving to get back on track and have a successful season.
New faces to the varsity team consist of freshman Jared Martino, whose older brother was on the 2013 varsity team that made it to the second round of states, and sophomore James Pandolfo who is a Malden Catholic transfer student. Both are the middle infielders, playing shortstop and second base bringing a new young talent to the team along returning sophomore Joshua Simon and first time varsity player sophomore Matt Geer.
With only six seniors, Joshua Bessey, Mark Leonard, Zack Sousa, Kyle Gillis, Michael Morris, and Nick Hames, making MHS a young team this season. In which Carpenito, who is returning for his 16th year as varsity coach, sees potential in the chemistry the team has because most of them are returning players from last season. Carpenito stated that “the underclassmen are our strength,[and] the junior class is full of potential.” The juniors on the team consist of Ronnie Luke, Liam Elliot, Brian Batting, Robert Collins, and Nicky Andreucci.
The team has opened their 2015 season with games against Melrose at Pine Banks, in what is called the Mayors Cup, on Apr. 11 at home, and lost 10-6. Luke took the mound with Elliot behind the plate, Luke finished with five strikeouts. Lukes’ goals for the season consist of “to just play hard and have a winning record when I pitch and help my team out as much as I can on the field, on the mound, and at the plate.” Gillis came up strong for the Golden Tornadoes at the plate hitting a homerun over the left field fence during his first at bat of the season. After a well fought game, the boys ended up losing, however they are more than ready to improve this season.