Published in the April 14, 2016 edition


NORTH READING — Eric Archambault is in his second year as manager of the North Reading High baseball team. Last spring, the Hornets went 9–11 just missing the Division 3 state tournament. They ended up in third place in the Cape Ann League Large division going 6–5.

Three seniors from that team graduated but 17 veterans are back this year. Three of them are the tri–captains who are all seniors. Mike Driscoll is a right fielder, while his brother, Pat, plays at third base. Shawn DiVecchia is the other captain and he is a second baseman. Mike Driscoll was a Cape Ann League All–Star and led the team in batting average at .367. DiVecchia made the CAL second-team All-Star batting .328.

Two other key seniors back are pitcher Greg Johnson and first baseman Sean Castro. Johnson was another CAL second-team All-Star last season as he had an earned run average of 2.67 finishing at 4–6.

Left fielder Jeff Mejia and center fielder Anthony Eldridge are two juniors that Archambault is really counting on.

It has been a busy pre-season for the team as they had five scrimmages slated but, due to the weather, played only three of them against Needham, Belmont and Tewksbury.

“The preseason has been going well,” said Archambault.

The Hornets are slated to play a 20 game regular season and Archambault feels that the team to beat in the CAL Large division this season will be the defending champs, Masconomet.

“We play our league schedule where we play our league teams twice and the other division teams once,” explained Archambault. “We will also participated in the Nipper Clancy Tournament at the end of the season in Lynn and play Northeast Vocational twice.”

Last Thursday, the Hornets were supposed to have played at Northeast in the season opener but that game was called due to the weather and will be made up on May 7.

On April 14, they open the year at home against Newburyport at 3:45 pm. Two days later, they visit Pentucket at 10 a.m. On April 19, the Hornets host Triton at 10 a.m. during April Vacation week.

Archambault, a physical education teacher at North Reading Middle School, said that reaching the states this year is the team’s first goal.