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Pitching drives HHS baseball win streak

by | May 28, 2024 | Sports

Hopkinton High School’s baseball team started the season with a subpar 1-3 record, but coach Matt Anderson pressed his team to stay the course. The Hillers responded by winning 13 games in a row, with a pitching staff that shut down nearly every opponent in recent weeks.

“Our pitching has been carrying us,” Anderson said.

During the win streak, Hopkinton put together a stretch of nine games in which it did not permit more than two runs. The Hillers posted five shutouts during that span.

Senior captain Derek Hatherley is the ace of the Hopkinton staff. Over his first five decisions, he posted five victories, a 0.63 earned run average and 45 strikeouts over just 33 innings.

Fellow senior Matt Gaughan has added a 1.07 ERA through 32 innings and four wins. Senior Jack Arthur has filled in well as a third starter, posting a two-hit performance in a win over Holliston.

The bullpen has been anchored by two more seniors: Drew Riesenberger and senior co-captain Sean McCann. Through mid-May, Hopkinton’s team ERA was 1.38.

“They have been lights out,” Anderson said. “We have been pretty dominant. These are five seniors who have all been outstanding on the mound.”

Hopkinton has several players who have helped drive the offense, including leadoff hitter Nick Pedroli, a center fielder and a junior. He was hitting .436 and had only three strikeouts in 64 plate appearances heading into the regular season’s final week.

An arm injury moved Dylan Ruff from shortstop to a second base/designated hitter platoon, but it did not slow down his bat. With two games left in the regular season, he was leading the team in RBIs and had a batting average north of .400.

“He is having a great year,” Anderson said.

Senior co-captain Charlie Petruney is second on the team in RBIs, and freshman Lucas Hodne earned a spot in the lineup as the cleanup hitter.

“He is built for baseball,” Anderson said. “Physically, he is outstanding, and mentally, he is beyond his years. He has made some amazing plays at third base, and hitting in the 4-hole is not something you normally do with a freshman.”

Senior captain Pete Mahon is a defensive leader at catcher, and sophomore Ryan Lang has stood out after stepping into the shortstop role this spring.

Anderson said the Hillers have been able to string together wins by staying the course and outworking other teams. Hopkinton is one of the top teams in the state and began the final week of the regular season ranked in the top three.

“I don’t know if there are any great teams, and I am not even sure where we are in that regard,” Anderson said. “But we are playing good baseball, and anything can happen.”

Hopkinton was on the wrong end of an upset in last year’s tournament, but Anderson said this team has the ability to make a deep run and maybe even go all the way.

“I think we have the talent, I think we have the pitching, and I think we have the character to do it,” the coach said. “We are going to be a tough out in the state tournament.”


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