NORTH READING — Five members of the NRHS baseball team were named Cape Ann League All-Stars for the 2021 season: Senior infielder Michael Vittozzi and junior pitcher Ryan Baker were named to the CAL First Team All-Stars. Senior infielder Frank Cassarino, senior outfielder Joe Giacalone and junior infielder Nick Ciardello were named to the CAL Second Team All-Stars.
Vittozzi was a defensive rock for the Hornets in the infield with 43 putouts and only two errors all season. The senior was just as key at the plate, leading the Hornets with a batting average of .385. He also led NR in on-base percentage (.484), slugging percentage (.442), OPS (.926) and stolen bases (12). Vittozzi led the team in hits with 20 and tied for first with 12 runs batted in.
Baker was the ace of a very talented pitching staff this season. The junior led the team in wins as he went 5-0 in five starts with an incredible earned run average of 0.76, only surrendering four earned runs all season in 36.2 innings pitched. Baker also pitched in three games as a reliever earning one save. He had 27 strikeouts and 13 walks on the year.
Giacalone was a strong defender and a menace on the base paths for NR with seven steals and 13 runs scored. He hit .273 with a .460 OBP, .364 slugging and .824 OPS with eight RBI.
Cassarino played a great shortstop for the Hornets with 50 putouts. He hit .233 and tied for a team high 12 RBI and eight runs scored.
Ciardello had 105 putouts at first base. He was second on the team with a .320 batting average and added a .440 slugging and .926 OPS. The junior had seven RBI and led the team with six doubles.
The Hornets finished the season at 11-7 overall. They went on an incredible run as the No. 8 seed in the Div. 3 North tournament, starting with a 10-0 win in the first round over Wilmington. Vittozzi had a single, a double, two RBI, three stolen bases and two runs scored in that one. Cassarino also had two hits and two RBI.
North Reading then earned the upset of the tournament by defeating top-seeded Austin Prep 9-4 on the road in the quarterfinals. Baker pitched a complete game and allowed just one earned run against the Cougars. Ciardello had two hits and an RBI and Cassarino added an RBI knock. Their run came to end when they fell to Stoneham 7-0 in the semifinals.