Sports

Swampscott baseball hoping to get on a roll early

In 2013, coach Jason Calichman?s first year, the Swampscott baseball team started slowly but rebounded to make the playoffs – and get a win before losing to North Reading. Last year, though, the team never really recovered from a slow start and finished up the year a disappointing 5-15.
?Last year was last year,” Calichman said. “There?s a clean slate now. Nothing anybody did in past seasons matters now. It?s all about this season, and playing well from start to finish.
Swampscott will open its season April 6, at home against Weston.
Three seniors who hope to have big seasons include LSU-bound catcher Ryan January, who is back from prep school, infielder Greg Collier and Ryan Cresta, who will play infield and outfield.
?It?s really important to wins games early, get off to a hot start and keep it going,” January said. “We have to come out as a new group right away and play well. Even though we?ve known each other and played with each other for years, we have to start this season with a new idea of what we want to do: win games and go deep into the tournament, hopefully win a state championship.”
?We want to start out winning, not have to play catch up because of a bad start,” Collier said. “It?s all about being consistent. I don’t think anyone can stop us if we go out and play our game. If you look hard at this team, we really don’t have a weakness. We have some great returning players and good young players, depth. It?s going to be a battle at every position to get playing time, which is great.”
?We have quite a few good players returning,” Cresta said. “We?re looking to get it going with a good start. We?ll work it as hard as we can in the cages and the gym until we can get out there, so come game one and we?re ready to go.”
But Calichman knows his team needs to make adjustments.
?We had some issues on defense last year that cost us some games,” he said. “So we need to improve there this year. As always, in baseball, it?s going to come down to pitching.
Gavin (Sullivan) and Corey (Bleau) are back. They did a nice job last year. And Jake (Venuti) will get an opportunity.?Like I said, though, last year is last year. We have to put it together this year.”

More Stories In Sports