As the school year comes to a close, the end of the 2021 baseball season for Malden High School nears. The baseball team began their season with a tournament dedicated to the late Christie Serino, a hockey and baseball coach for several schools including Malden Catholic. They started off strong in the tournament with a 12 to 2 win against the Salem Charter Navigators, but then came ot with a 13-8 loss against the Winthrop Eagles.
Junior David Higuera states that “thanks to all the coaches this year, [they] all have had a great season.” The team was able to pull of a multitude of wins throughout the season against various teams including, one of Malden’s biggest rivals, Everett. Higuera added that “[they] wer all prepared even starting later than the rest of Mass.” The official start date for spring sports in Massachusetts was April 26, 2021, Malden’s baseball team did not take to the field until May.
Stephen Freker, head coach for baseball, states that “[they] were happy to have a season at all due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Even though the season started later than usual, they were still able to play the game, and “were fortunate to have good weather for most of it.” This year the baseball team was not a very large team. Freker added that “[they] would have like to see more players participate on [their] teams, but it was difficult to get the word out to students who may have been interested in playing,”
Although many of the COVID-19 restriction in Massachusetts have been lessened, such as the fact that the players no longer have to wear a face mask while they are playing, there are still many other restrictions that are in place. Freker stated that “this season has been like no other season due to the many changes that have taken place and restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Adding on that “there is really no other season in which it could be compared.” Due to the ongoing pandemic, the way the game is operated was changed before the start of the season in order to keep player and coaches as well as officials safe on the field. Freker added that “once [they] got started there were more challenges to deal with regarding the basic operations like the schedule and travel, but like everyone else in the world [they] were able to adjust and adapt.”
Malden High’s baseball team was a younger team overall, “but [they] we able to rely on some experienced seniors as well,” stated Freker. The top hitter for the season was sophomore Brandon McMahon, with an average of .443. McMahon also led the team in runs batted in (RBIs) with a total of 14 and also hit the only home run of the season. Freker concluded that “the players and coaches are grateful they were able to have a season at all. They are also appreciative of all the planning and effort made by Mr. Conefrey and Ms.Marquardo of [their] Athletic Department and Ms. Sturtevant of [their] Athletic Training that led to [them] having a baseball season.” Malden’s season is not yet over though, the team will be participating in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 1 State Baseball Tournament for the first time in 8 seasons.