Melrose should be competitive after strong 2016 season
Published in the March 31, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider baseball team returns to the spring 2017 season as a playoff-experienced squad used to being contenders in the Middlesex League. Their season opener is slated for Saturday, April 8 at noon against Malden.
Last season was a very successful one. Melrose qualified for a post season at 14-6 and played an incredibly competitive playoff game against Burlington, a 2-1 pitcher’s duel loss. This year, expect Melrose to be extra motivated to return to playoffs and take it a step further. That challenge will be made easier with some returning faces who were key in Melrose’s wins last season. They include tri-captains Drew McGuire, Nick Cordeau and Cal MacDonald. All three are considered heavyweights at the plate, which gives Melrose an offensive charge.
At press time, Melrose’s roster was still being ironed out but expect to see returning players Joe Stanton, Shane Correale, Joe Siciliano, Mike Dreske, Connor Crovo, and Max Watson. Melrose’s defense was a notable one last season, and their infield positions should include Joe Stanton, Cal Macdonald, Shane Correale and Max Watson. Outfield may be manned by players such as McGuire, Cordeau and Crovo.
On the mound, Melrose returns senior John Casparriello, who is expected to be the #1 hurler. Other pitchers that may be in the mix include Mike Muscarella, Will Dolaher and Rob Mele.
Last year the Middlesex Freedom League proved to be very competitive. Teams such as Wakefield, Wilmington and Burlington were hot, and this year will be no different. Melrose will certainly be in mix, as many of the Freedom teams have lost top pitchers.
“We’re aiming to remain competitive all season,” says Hirschfeld. “First, we need to get outside, get out of the gym, and get the season rolling.”
First pitch of the season takes place Saturday, April 8 against Malden at noon at Pine Banks.