HARWICH ─ Monomoy baseball's 2017 season has gotten off to a bumpy start, with opening losses to Rising Tide and Sandwich, but though head coach Steve Wilson would like the team to see success, he's pleased that one of his goals is already taking shape.
“One of our goals is [for them] to be good teammates,” Wilson said following the team's tough 15-3 loss to Sandwich on Monday. “There's probably nothing more important to me than being a good teammate, whether that's in baseball or any other group you're part of.”
Though the Sharks clearly struggled against the Blue Knights at Whitehouse Field in Harwich on Monday, their upbeat attitudes prevailed throughout the seven-inning outing.
Junior co-captain Nathan Amaker led the way with two hits and brought in all three runs for the Sharks, with teammate Eli Nickerson also adding two hits. Will Sosa got things started on the mound for Monomoy before Christ Amezquita stepped in for three innings of solid relief, with varsity newcomer Jamie Routhier closing the game in his first varsity effort.
Amaker was also stellar at shortstop, playing an entire game of error free ball.
A four-run fourth inning in Monomoy's season opener on March 30 put the Sharks ahead in their contest against Rising Tide, but the Tide battled back to tie the game 4-4 before claiming victory thanks to a comeback three-run seventh.
Senior co-captain Owen Cottle and teammates Nickerson and Sean Gould each drew a series of walks in the fourth inning, with Kiernan Murphy bringing in Cottle when he was hit by a pitch.
Matt Veary then singled in Nickerson for another Shark run, with Amaker swinging into a nice double to bring around Gould and Murphy, giving Monomoy a 4-2 lead that pulled them out of a 2-0 hole.
Two Rising Tide runs at the top of the sixth tied the game, but Sosa kept the competition aflame when he reached first on a single in the bottom of the sixth before racing to second on a ground out, ultimately scoring on a wild pitch.
Unfortunately for Monomoy, three more Rising Tide runs at the top of the seventh clinched the win for the visitors, who came away with the 7-5 victory.
Though disappointed for his team's challenging start to the season, Wilson noted that in the wake of graduating seven seniors in 2016, he considers this season a rebuilding year.
“I think we have a young team with very few returning players,” he said. “Obviously this is going to be a rebuilding year in which we work to try to get better each and every day.”
That means trying players out in different places to see what works best.
“Within a group, any group, members need to assume different roles for the success of the group,” said Wilson. “Right now we're trying people in new positions that perhaps they've never played before. We're trying to put people in the best positions to win. That might take time. The good news is that in a small school like Monomoy, there are lots of opportunities for players.”
Returnees to the team include Griffen Handler, Amezquita, Matt Veary, Amaker, Nickerson, and Cottle, with new players including Logan Routhier, Jamie Routhier, Kiernan Murphy, Cam Archibald, Sean Gould, Isaac Hart, and Sosa, some of whom are playing at varsity level for the first time.
Wilson said their positive attitudes have been a bonus so far.
“I think what I'm most complimentary about is their attitude, ability, and willingness to work hard and try their best,” he said. “I think the most important thing that I observed [against Sandwich] was a positive bench and positive support of each other. That's being a good teammate, cheering on your opponents even through tough times.”
Monomoy is scheduled to play today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. against Sturgis East, weather permitting.