LYNN– Lynn Post 6 Legion baseball team manager Leon Elwell has vivid memories of the Lynn 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star team he coached two summers ago. The Lynners, in a historic season, advanced to the 2016 Babe Ruth World Series and traveled to Williston, North Dakota to play its games.
Now Elwell and a handful of his 2016 players are reuniting as he manages the Lynn Post 6 Legion baseball team this summer.
“The majority of our players are from that team,” Elwell said. “It’s a familiarity thing, They’ve all played together before.”
Elwell, who takes over the manager’s position this year replacing Timothy Fila, is assisted by Salem State University baseball coach Al Donovan, a Lynn native and former star pitcher at Tech, this season.
“It’s a good group,” Elwell said of his team. “Fila did a real good job, we’re just off the success of former teams. The goal is to get into the playoffs.”
While the team chemistry that a familiar roster brings may help Lynn, there are still some adjustments to be made at the plate.
“These kids go from composite bats that are legal in high school so that’s an adjustment,” Elwell said. “But if we can pitch and play defense we will win games.”
Lynn’s pitching needs will be supported by a deep rotation, including Classical junior ace David Barnard. The depth will be especially helpful with the league’s new pitch count restrictions.
“It’s nothing new,” Elwell, who has managed youth teams and pitch counts before, said. “We don’t need to pitch anyone seven innings. We have interchangeable starters.”
Whoever is pitching, they’ll be backed by a great defense which includes shortstop AJ Luciano, a recent Classical grad who was selected to the Northeastern Conference all-conference team, Elwell said.
“We have a pretty deep team and a great team defensively,” he said. “I’ve coached AJ since he was three years old. He’s automatic at shortstop and a quiet leader.”
Next week, Lynn gets into the bulk of its season after starting 3-0 this summer. Elwell said the team’s in good standing through the early going of the season.
“Starting Sunday we have nine games in 11 days,” Elwell said. “Our guys are pretty stretched out.”
Elwell is confident, however, that up and down his roster players can get the job done if they perform to the best of their abilities.
“It’s hard to single guys out because we just have a really good group,” Elwell said. “It’ll come down to pitching and who makes the most plays each game.”
The full Lynn Post 6 Legion baseball team’s roster include Luciano, Barnard, Jomar Moreta, Dayshon Anderson, Anthony Nikolakakis, Cesar Carrero, Donny Lilid, Brett Bucklin, Colin Reddy, Spencer DiVirgilio, Lou Vidal, Devin Curley, Nick Reiser, Christian Burt, Kevin Durant, Josh Mateo and Zach Elwell, Leon’s son.