For three years, pitcher Gavin Sullivan was the rock in the Swampscott High School baseball team’s rotation. After a terrific career with the Big Blue, Sullivan brought his talents to Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Now, Sullivan will look forward to the next step in his baseball career, as the Swampscott native has committed to join the team at Stetson University in Florida for the 2019 season.
Stetson, a Division 1 program that competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference, stood out as the right choice for Sullivan after the right-hander visited the school’s campus and met with the coaches last Friday.
“The baseball aspect of the school is tremendous,” Sullivan, who also played golf for three seasons at Swampscott, said. “Their schedule is one of the best in the country. The coaching staff is tremendous. The school has about 4000 students, so it’s a small school and that’s what’s best for me moving forward. Everything from the baseball to the academics is what’s best for me so I kind of just fell in love with it.”
Another factor that played a role in Sullivan’s decision was Stetson’s location. Although he’ll be over 1200 miles away from home when he sets foot on the campus in DeLand, Florida, Sullivan has always hoped to play college baseball in a warm climate.
“There were a few other schools on my list,” Sullivan said. “Most of them were schools on the Northeast. Going down South has always been a goal of mine, since day one. I’ve always wanted to play baseball in warm weather and go to school down there. That’s what drove me to make my decision.”
Having lived away from home this past year while attending Cheshire Academy, located in Cheshire, Connecticut, Sullivan feels he’ll be ready to make the move to Florida and live on his own. Sullivan admitted that although he might be a little nervous, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“I’m going to be a little bit nervous but it’s something that has been in my plans for a while,” Sullivan said. “I think I’ll be alright. I lived away from home last year when I went to Cheshire and that really helped me a lot with the aspect of living away from home. I think being nervous can be a good thing too so I’m looking forward to it.”
This past season was a successful one for Sullivan and the Fighting Cats. Cheshire went 18-2 on the year, leaning heavily on Sullivan’s talents on the mound. Sullivan compiled a 7-0 record while boasting a 3.3 GPA in the classroom.
“All around I had a pretty good year from academics to baseball,” Sullivan said. “I had a 3.3 GPA there so school went well. I went 7-0 on the mound and we went 18-2 overall as a team. The baseball team was very successful and it was a great year all around.”
Sullivan will return to Cheshire for another season before joining the team at Stetson. As for the approach he’ll take in making the transition to the college diamond, Sullivan said he’s focused solely on competing and giving the Hatters his maximum effort.
“The game never changes, it’s always the same game,” Sullivan said. “That’s what I’ve always been told. Going from high school to college, it’s going to take some time to get used to that but hopefully everything works out if I compete and give it the best I have. That’s the advice I’ve always been given.”
“I hope to just bring the competitive nature that I’ve always had,” Sullivan added. “I hope to always be a good teammate and be a good person around the school and the community. That’s something that has always been important to my family. Being a good person, a good player and a good competitor is what I’ve always done and what I hope to keep doing.”
Jason Calichman, who coached Sullivan in all three of his seasons at Swampscott, recalls his former ace as an outstanding competitor who gave the Big Blue a strong chance to win each time he took the mound.
“Gavin’s a tremendous kid and an unbelievable competitor,” Calichman said. “Everytime he took the ball, we had a chance to win and it felt like we were going to win. He works hard, loves the game and did everything we asked. His competitiveness separated him from other pitchers in the area.”
Having witnessed firsthand the intangibles that make Sullivan a special talent, Calichman’s confident that he’ll be able to make a swift impact in Stetson’s pitching rotation.
“He’s one of those impact players that can change a team,” Calichman said. “We’re very proud of him and wish him nothing but the best. We expect big things from Gavin. He throws strikes, three different pitches for strikes, and he competes. He’s going to be a real factor at Stetson.”