The members of the Mashpee High School varsity baseball team do one jumping jack during warm-ups for every win they need to qualify for the postseason. This year, they started the season with 11 jumping jacks, shortening the routine by one jumping jack as they picked up wins.
Without a state tournament to shoot for, Mashpee Middle School head coach Dave Williams told his players he thought they were a talented group and that they were aiming high. He figured a 10-2 season would be great, so he told them that they should do 10 jumping jacks during warm-ups, knocking off one after each win.
Without hesitation, the players asked their coach if they could instead do 12. They figured they were playing 12 games, and they wanted to win them all.
Williams agreed, and they started the year with 12. By the end of the campaign, they didn’t have to do them anymore. MMS went undefeated this year.
“They motivated each other to do well, and to be successful,” the coach said. “It was a total team effort.”
And what a team effort. The Falcons had a rock-solid season from top to bottom, with a .444 team batting average while averaging 11 hits per contest. Pitcher and shortstop Michael Fraser led the team with 18 hits, including five doubles and a home run, as he hit .501. Third baseman and pitcher Freddy Hanna was the overall team batting average leader at .615 and finished second in base hits with 16. He also had a .759 on-base percentage.
Every hitter on the Mashpee roster with at least 20 plate appearances finished with a batting average above .300. Eight players hit above .400.
Pitcher and shortstop Zack Landry finished at .501, with 15 hits, including three doubles. Second baseman and pitcher Trevor McDonald hit at a .379 clip, as did Andrew Legere, who saw time in left field, at third base and on the mound. Middle infielder Noah Tellez only had six at-bats for the season, with one hit, but his on-base percentage was .539.
Outfielder Tyler Cuozzo had an average of .364 for the season while center fielder and pitcher Jack Richmond hit .355. Outfielder Max Burke hit at a .409 clip, with a homer. Sean Clifford compiled a .308 average.
Outfielder Sam Antis hit .438. First baseman Jack Gumbert had a double and a triple, and hit .579. Outfielder and first baseman Josh Gray only had six at-bats and didn’t record a hit. He still finished with an on-base percentage of .500, as he worked his way on base six times via bases on balls.
Shane Lacroix and Nick Storey split time behind the plate for the Falcons. Both hit very well, with Lacroix putting up a .462 average and Storey hitting .444.
Andrew Vosburg injured his shoulder early in the season and appeared in just one game, reaching base via a walk. Brett Pells also missed most of the season with a hand injury. He was able to play a couple of innings in the field in the last game of the year and made a nice play at second base.
The Falcons also boasted a great pitching staff, with a team ERA of 2.12.
Landry worked 24 innings and posted a team-best 5-0 record. He had a 2.05 ERA and struck out 35 batters while allowing just 16 hits.
Fraser hurled 21 innings, going 3-0. He struck out 31, allowed 18 hits and walked only 12.
McDonald gave up just three earned runs in 18 innings of work, finishing with a 1.67 ERA and a 3-0 record. He struck out 16, walked nine and surrendered 10 hits.
Richmond was the team’s lone left-hander. He worked four innings and did not allow an earned run. Hanna pitched five frames for the team. Legere worked two innings and struck out two.
While coach Williams was proud of all of the statistics, the one he might be most proud of was the team’s GPA. Of the 17 players on the squad, 11 were named to the junior National Honor Society.
“We had just one goal, to be successful,” he said. “We told them, ‘The amount of success we have is going to be determined by how hard you work, on the field, off the field, in the classroom.’ We told them that they’re role models…they lived up to that.
“We’re not worried about individual statistics. If the team is successful, you’ll be successful.”
Going undefeated was not easy. The Falcons had a couple of nail-biters along the way. They won a game against Harwich by a 4-3 score, and survived a slugfest with St. Francis-Xavier, 13-12. Their last game of the season, against Harwich, was a 1-0 game heading to the sixth inning. They prevailed, 5-0.