Sports

Big Blue pitcher Reiser finds the perfect fit at Franklin Pierce

Big Blue right-hander Nick Reiser has committed to play baseball at Division II Franklin Pierce. (Item File Photo)

SWAMPSCOTT– Big Blue rising senior Nick Reiser feels he’s ready for his next challenge. Reiser will continue his baseball career at the collegiate level when he joins the Division II Franklin Pierce Ravens in 2020. He announced his commitment last week. 

“I really liked their baseball program,” Reiser, a pitcher/outfielder and three-year varsity player, said. “They won the NE10 last year. They play in a competitive league. I really liked the coaches and the facilities. It seemed like a great fit academically. They’re becoming a powerhouse.” 

Reiser felt Franklin Pierce offered him the best mix of competitive baseball and academics. The latter, said Reiser, was his top priority. 

“I was looking for somebody that believed in me from the start, no hesitation,” Reiser said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I can just work. I feel the coaches at Franklin Pierce are giving me that opportunity. They also mentioned that academics come first and that’s what my family has always taught me, ‘make sure academics come first and sports are secondary.'” 

Reiser, a right-hander, knows challenges await him when he sets foot on the college diamond. There aren’t any guarantees and there’s only one way to earn playing time. 

“I’m ready to work without stopping,” Reiser said. “When I committed I knew it wouldn’t be easy. That’s always my mentality. I want to grind. The coaches feel I have a lot of potential. I want to prove them right and do everything in my power to do so. I’ll work hard in the weight room and be as coachable as I can be.

“They’re a blue-collar team,” Reiser said. “They’re a bunch of grinders there and that’s how I like to play. That’s why I think I’ll fit in well there.” 

Reiser’s catcher at Swampscott, Dylan January, will join him at Franklin Pierce. The two formed a reliable, solid battery this past spring in helping guide the Big Blue to the Division 3 North semifinal. 

“I’m psyched,” Reiser, a two-sport athlete who also plays football, said. “We’ve already had four years together. It seems like we’re getting better together. I’m learning him and he’s learning me. He’s one of my best friends. It makes going to a new school and a new environment that much easier. He’s somebody I can trust and somebody I can lean on.” 

Big Blue coach Joe Caponigro has nothing but confidence in the duo’s abilities to succeed at the next level. 

“They’re two very dedicated athletes at Swampscott,” Caponigro said. “They also play in a very elite travel program in the summer with the Expos. They certainly have seen the payoff from all the hard work they’ve put in. It’s all paying off, all the hard work they’ve put in. They’re great kids and great students. I couldn’t be happier for them. They wanted to continue their careers and Franklin Pierce is a terrific program.” 

Caponigro said Reiser has all the necessary tools to make a name for himself at Franklin Pierce. 

“Nick’s also a valuable outfielder and hitter,” Caponigro said. “I think they’re looking at his pitching at the next level. He’s increased his velocity. His control is accurate and pinpoint. He throws a mid 80’s fastball, a curveball and a slider. He’s very intense. He competes and he gets after it. That stands out.” 

Reiser’s success wouldn’t have been possible without his support system. Coaches, teammates and family members have provided unwavering support throughout his career. 

“I can’t name every coach but I want to thank all my coaches and teammates who’ve helped me get to where I am, especially my parents,” Reiser said. “I have a lot of coaches, my high school coaches, my summer coaches, my travel team. They helped me get exposure.

“Not every game’s a good game,” Reiser said. “When you have somebody there to help you when you’re not at your best, it helps pick you up a bit. It would be impossible without everyone by my side. I’ve had some great teammates.”

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