Is Hendricken Baseball the favorite?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tom Verdi, Jeff Roy and Billy Walker are three reasons why Bishop Hendricken High’s baseball Hawks may repeat as Division I state champions.
Verdi, for example, is 6-2, 195 senior shortstop who last year landed second team All-State honors.
“He’s an outstanding defensive shortstop,” Ed Holloway, the Hawks’ veteran and highly-successful head coach, says. “He makes all the plays…routine and spectacular. It got to the point last year that I hoped every ball was hit to him.” Verdi is also a solid hitter. He batted .390 last spring.
Adds Holloway of the three-year starter, who played the outfield as a sophomore but moved to short last year: “I think he’s going to have a big year offensively.”
Verdi is also an outstanding leader and a Hawks’ captain. He has accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut.
Roy is a 5-10, 175-pound senior who last year played a right field. He’ll patrol center field this spring. “Jeff is an outstanding defensive outfielder,” Holloway noted. “He has a real good strong arm.”
Roy was a first team All-State selection last year as a junior and batted a robust .483.
“He has outstanding speed and steals a lot of bases,” the head Hawks said. “Jeff puts lots of pressure on the other team’s defense.”
Like Verdi, Roy is also a captain.
His leadership abilities and talent are perhaps why former Hendricken star and current URI Head Coach Jim Foster, who played professional baseball for 10 years, offered Roy a baseball scholarship to URI.
Walker (5-11, 185) is a unique athlete who last year was a starting catcher as a freshman. He shared the duty with now former Hawk Joe Lopes. Holloway says Walker is a good hitter and outstanding player who last year batted .370.
“He has tremendous instincts,” Holloway says of Walker. “He sees the game before it happens. He’s a very heady player who is like having a coach on the field. He knows how to direct out pitchers…he reminds me of (the late Yankee great) Thurmond Munson.