Worcester Academy Preparing Players for College Baseball
Friday, May 04, 2012
Robby Rinn, Matt Mortimer, Jesse Pelletier and Matt Brown will be playing baseball at the next level following their spectacular prep school careers.
Led by captain Matt Mortimer, this batch of graduates will all stay on the East Coast for their collegiate careers, staying as close as Smithfield, RI (38 minutes from Worcester).
Mortimer's path to Hartford, Connecticut's Trinity College began long ago.
“I knew about (Trinity) because my parents went there,” he said. “Trinity was always my number one choice.”
The captain, a catcher and infielder, hopes to play all over the diamond next year, although it is his prowess at the plate that attracted recruiters' attention. Mortimer hit .436 with 22 RBI in 17 games in 2011, and is already off to a great start to 2012.
“Most teams wanted me for my bat,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer is thankful for his time at Worcester Academy, and the work of his coaches.
“Coaches Forsberg and Gafur are two of my favorite people,” Mortimer said. “They taught me to be a good person on and off the field, and how to represent myself as a Worcester Academy baseball player.”
As far as Trinity is concerned, they will have a good natured player in Mortimer. “As long as I can hit, I'll be happy.”
Matt Brown has had a rough year baseball-wise at Worcester Academy. After having a monstrous batting average of .519 his senior year at Belmont High, he injured his shoulder in three places. With an 8-18 month recovery time, it should have been a struggle to get recruited the way he had been. But, Merrimack College made it clear that they wanted him.
“They stuck with me through the injury, didn't drop the offer or anything,” Brown said. “That made me have a lot of respect for the program and Coach (Jim) Martin.”
Brown is at the tail end of his recovery, and has been designated hitting in games this season. “I can't really fire one,” Brown said of throwing home from his regular position at first base. “I'm just getting back into the flow of throwing.”
Robby Rinn had been an incredible player at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI prior to coming to Worcester Academy. He was named to the First Team All-State each of his last two years, and was the team MVP those years as well. During his junior and senior year he served as the Quakers' captain, compiling a record of 14-1 on the mound with a 3.93 ERA. He had 41 hits – a school record – his senior year to go along with a .461 batting average.
Rinn has a passion for hitting that he hopes to carry that on to Division I Bryant University, where he will play first base, and possibly be used as a lefty specialist.
“The pitching will be harder, but I should be able to handle it,” Rinn said.
The decision to come to Bryant was an easy one for Rinn, who lives nearby.
“I've always been really close with my family, so their ability to come and watch me play definitely was a factor,” he said. “Also, Coach Owens was great in the recruiting process, which really meant a lot to me as a player.”
Rinn gave Bryant his official word last September.
Jesse Pelletier is in a unique position due to his decision to attend the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, MD. Although a Division I school, they do not have athletic scholarships. As a military academy, attendance is free, once you have been admitted and signed up for service.
“My family has a history in the Navy, so it's something I've wanted to do my entire life,” Pelletier said of joining the Navy.
Pelletier hit an impressive .395 last year, although hitting was not always a strong aspect of his game.
“Coach Forsberg helped me become a much better hitter and a better fielder,” Pelletier said. “He knows how to fix everything.”
Since there are no scholarships, all newcomers are walk-ons. “We'll see how it works out,” the second baseman said. “It's a great place. Everyone down there is really close; it's a brotherhood, and I'm excited to be a part of that.”
Although all four of these young men are looking forward to their collegiate careers, they are still in the midst of a baseball season now. With a team that includes four college-bound athletes, they seem to be in a good spot.
“We've got a phenomenal coach, and a great team,” said Pelletier. “We've got a great chance to win another championship, and go back-to-back.”
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