Published in the June 30, 2016 edition


NORTH READING — Three members of the North Reading High baseball team made the Cape Ann League Large division first–team All-Stars. The three Hornets to make the team are juniors, John Merullo, Mike McCauley and Jeff Mejia. Merullo is a catcher while Mejia played left field. McCauley pitched.

It is the first time on the team for all three players.

“They were all the top players in their positions in the league,” said Hornets manager Eric Archambault. “They did what we asked them to do and I was proud of all of them.”

Mejia led the team in batting average at .434. He also led the squad in on-base-percentage (.597) and runs scored (22). Merullo hit .319 with 12 runs batted in.

McCauley was 7–1 on the hill with an earned-run average of 1.26. He recorded 39 strikeouts and walked 31.

This was an outstanding year for the CAL Large champs as they reached the Div. 3 state title game on June 18 before they were nipped, 5–4, by unbeaten Groton-Dunstable at Holy Cross in Worcester.

North Reading finished the year at 22-4.

“They exceeded my expectations,” admitted Archambault, who just completed his second year at the helm. “There are 96 teams in Division 3 and we came in second so I am, obviously, very proud of them.”

The team will lose nine seniors to graduation, Greg Johnson (pitcher), Shawn DiVecchia (second base), Pat Driscoll (third base), Mike Driscoll (right field), Anthony D’Ambrosio (infielder), Jason Tannian (outfielder), Mike Fialli (infielder), Sean Castro (first base) and Tyler Calos (shortstop).

DiVecchia and the Driscoll brothers were the three captains this season.

“Not only were they extremely talented players but they were incredible kids on and off the field,” stated Archambault.

While the loss of those seniors will be big, the cupboard is not empty as nine players are slated to return, including the three all-stars.

“We should have a solid team coming back next year,’ said Archambault.