Experienced Chieftains Ready for Title Push
Monday, March 26, 2012
“It was tough to go out the way we did against St. John’s last year, but they’re obviously a great program,” coach Chuck Schoolcraft said. “But I think we’ve learned a lot from it, and now we’ve got a seasoned team that has been through it before.”
The Chieftains return 13 seniors and eight juniors from last year’s squad, and only have to replace four players overall. After a 14-8 finish last season, Nashoba seems poised to grab a top-four seed in the Central Mass playoffs. Senior captain Charlie Butler, a powerful first baseman and starting pitcher, believes that last year’s loss is the primary motivation for this year’s team.
“You know, our goal is always to win a district championship,” Butler said. “Last year, we kind of let that slip away from us. But now we’re back, and working to get it done this year.”
Power at the Top
Along with Butler, the Chieftains return hard throwing senior captain pitcher Brandon Radziewicz, who is expected to be the No. 2 starter in a loaded pitching staff. While the team has a ton of veteran players, sophomore John Militano may be too good to keep off the field. The speedster played a bit as a freshman, and looks like he may be the lead-off hitter that Schoolcraft is looking for.
Nashoba came out of the gates quickly last season, beginning the year 10-1. But, the Chieftains sputtered down the stretch, enduring a five-game losing streak on the back end of their schedule. Schoolcraft knows his team has experience, and hopes they will draw on it to avoid a similar swoon.
“We started so well, but we lost five in a row after that great start,” Schoolcraft said. “Hopefully we have all learned from that, and remember that we can’t take anything for granted and have to take it one game at a time.”
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