LYNN — Each year the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association assembles sophomore, junior and senior all-star games showcasing top talents from across the state. Thanks to Classical’s Aidan Dow and David Barnard, and St. Mary’s Bobby Alcock, Lynn was well represented in last weekend’s all-star tilts.
Alcock and Barnard grew up playing Little League baseball together in Lynn. They reunited on the field last Sunday when they played in the MBCA Junior Select All-Star Game.
“It’s really an honor,” Barnard, who pitches and plays first base for the Rams, said. “It’s an opportunity to compete against the best players in Massachusetts. You can tell everyone prepares well and they’re the best players. It’s the best of the best.”
“The level of talent shows that it brings the best players in the state,” Alcock, a pitcher for the Spartans, said. “The talent was very good. It’s really a lot different from a normal high school game.”
Alcock pitched one scoreless inning in relief during last Sunday’s game, a 3-2 win for the East all-stars over Central/West. The top players from last Sunday’s contest were selected to represent Massachusetts in this Sunday’s game against the all-star team from Connecticut, dubbed as “MA Junior All-Stars vs. CT Juniors.”
Alock and Barnard were both selected to play in the New England Challenge. Barnard, due to a prior commitment, won’t play in the game but still views his selection as a reflection of hard work.
“All the kids who play in this are really good players,” Barnard said. “It’s important to always play hard. You never know who’s going to be watching so you always have to play hard.”
Alcock offered a similar take.
“It means a lot to me,” Alcock said. “A lot of hard work went into this. I felt I proved I could play with the best of the best this year. It’s an honor to get picked.”
As lifelong friends, Alcock and Barnard have supported each other through their baseball careers. Although they play for different schools, they still share a bond on the diamond and root for one another from afar.
“It’s awesome. Bobby has really grown as a player over the last couple of years,” Barnard said. “I’ve known him and played with him for almost my whole life. I’m happy that he got picked because that’s a big deal.”
“I’ve known David for pretty much my whole life,” Alcock said. “We’ve gone to school together, we’ve played together. Just to see how far we’ve gotten now, it’s really awesome.”
Alcock took on an important role as the ace of St. Mary’s staff this past season. He dominated opponents throughout the year, emerging as one of the top pitchers in the Catholic Central League and Division 2. The Spartans finished the regular season at 13-7 and qualified for the Division 2 North state tournament. The season came to an end after a 3-2 nine-inning loss to Beverly in the second round.
“Almost beating a (Beverly) team that went to the (Eastern Mass. Division 2) championship game proves how deep and how good a team we were,” Alcock said. “We had two really close tournament games. It was exciting playing in them. We’ll miss our six seniors but we’ll be ready to go next season.”
Barnard helped lead Classical to an 11-9 record during its regular season. In a game in which he pitched against Alcock, Barnard led the Rams to a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s in the opening round of the Clancy Tournament. Classical’s season ended in the first round of the Division 1 North state tournament after a 1-0 loss to Lincoln-Sudbury.
“It didn’t end the way we wanted it to but it was a good season,” Barnard said. “We had a great group of kids. I’m happy with the way things went and I’ll take a trip to the (state) tournament any day.”
Dow played in last Thursday’s MBCA Sophomore Select All-Star Game, which included top players from the class of 2020.
“It’s a really big deal,” Dow said. “Everyone that was there was talented. Every kid there, even if they weren’t as good as the other kids, they all hustle the same way and play hard.
“It was a really good experience,” Dow added. “I was glad I got picked.”
Dow, a pitcher and infielder, emerged as a key piece on both sides in his first season on the varsity team.
“I worked really hard in the offseason,” Dow said. “I worked really hard in everything leading up to the season. I tried to play my best during the season.”