Published in the June 20, 2018 edition

LYNNFIELD — The WMHS baseball team celebrated their season and handed out awards on Monday at their banquet at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield.

The Warriors finished 10-12 and made an appearance in the Div. 2 North Tournament after winning their final game of the season, 20-18 against Manchester-Essex to get their deciding 10th win.

Wakefield head coach Kevin Canty led the Warriors to a third place finish in the Freedom Division during his first season as head coach. Wakefield beat first-place Burlington (15-8) twice during the regular season.

THE CAPTAINS from the 2018 Wakefield baseball team welcome the new leaders for the 2019 season announced at the banquet. Pictured from left to right is incoming captain Gabe Sanders, outgoing captain Jake Nardone, incoming captain Tommy Mottl, outgoing captain Brendan Coughlin and incoming captain Erich Hickey. (Karen Pugsley Photo)

The eight seniors, Jordan Fauci, Cole Kraus, Mike McKean, Tyler Pugsley, Patrick Roche, Robert Shaw and captains Brendan Coughlin and Jake Nardone, were honored at the banquet and thanked for their dedication to Wakefield baseball.

Four of the five special awards were earned by seniors.

Centerfielder Tyler Pugsley received the Coaches Award. Pugsley was a great defensive outfielder and scored plenty of runs as he was a terror on the base paths for opposing teams.

Robert Shaw was Wakefield’s ace all season at the top of the rotation. The lefty came through in multiple big game and was named Best Pitcher.

Junior Gabe Sanders received the Newcomer Award as the transfer student had a great first season in Warrior red, whether at the plate, on the mound or at shortstop.

Brendan Coughlin received the prestigious Geoffrey Walter Award, presented every year to the player that best exemplifies Walter’s qualities of heart and leadership, as well as talent on the field. JV head coach Tom Leahy, a good friend of Geoffrey Walter’s and the creator of this memorial award, presented Coughlin with the honor. Coughlin was a great candidate, as the captain played every game with plenty of heart and leadership behind the plate, often putting his body on the line to make a big play for the Warriors.

Jake Nardone was named the Most Valuable Player. The captain fought through his recovery from shoulder surgery and was Wakefield’s best hitter in the middle of the order. Nardone embraced his leadership role and was clutch during big moments, accounting for seven RBI’s during Wakefield’s final regular season game against the Hornets.

Altogether, it was a fun and productive season. After missing out on it last year, making the tournament was a tough task to ask of this team playing in a talented Middlesex League and with a new coach, but the players and the coaching staff put together a fine season.

The Warriors will certainly miss this group of seniors, but the future is bright. The captains for 2019 were named, as juniors Erich Hickey, Tommy Mottl and Gabe Sanders will lead the team as seniors next year. Hickey and Mottl are both strong hitting corner outfielders who will be in the middle of the batting order next year, while Sanders is expected to become the ace and continue to be one of Wakefield’s best hitters batting leadoff.