Last season, Old Rochester Regional High School (ORR) baseball had a bona fide high school No. 1 starting pitcher in Mike Kennefick. The righty went 4-2 for the Bulldogs, striking out 48 over 28 2/3 innings. Not to mention, he posted a rock bottom 1.59 ERA, making him one of the toughest pitchers in the South Coast Conference and at the Division 3 level.
Kennefick more than held his own at the plate, too. The 2018 grad hit .429 and has six doubles, one triple, 17 RBIs and scored 24 runs at the heard of Old Rochester Regional’s order.
The Bulldogs also graduated their sure-handed shortstop, Jake Asiaf, who had the arm and range that put him among the best high school infielders. He could swing it, too, batting .358 at the Bulldogs No. 2 hitter – .529 over his last eight games with ORR.
“Jake did it all for us as a hitter who hit for average and power [and] aggressively ran the bases,”Old Rochester Regional coach Steve Carvalho said after the 2018 season. “He’s an outstanding young man who comes to work daily.”
That leaves the Bulldogs without one of the program’s best pitchers and infielders in recent history heading into the 2019 season.
“We got to plug some holes,” Carvalho said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
But the ORR coach doesn’t move forward empty-handed.
The Bulldogs return three major pieces from last year’s lineup, one being senior corner infielder Adam Breault. Also one of ORR’s three starting pitchers, Breault hit .410 with seven doubles, three triples, a home run, and 15 RBIs in 2018.
The Bulldogs also return two-thirds of their outfield, with Chris LaBelleand Bryce Afonso, who both had big hits in ORR’s final game of the 2018 season, which was a loss to Falmouth in the quarterfinals of Div. 3 South Sectional tournament. The outfield should be the steadiest portion of the roster, given their experience.Nick Dextradeurand Thomas Couccishould factor into the outfield, as well.
Mike Barryis taking over for his old double-play partner, Asiaf, making the move from second base to shortstop. John Farrell, who played catcher quite a bit in 2018, will now play up the middle with Barry. John Hamiltonwill also see time in the infield.
“Afonso, Barry, LaBelle, and Breault still allow for production,” Carvalho said. “How the other guys fit in, we’ll see.”
On the mound, ORR will have Breault, Bob Ross, and Nate Kvilhoug. Who emerges as the top option remains to be seen. As of now, all three are on the same playing field, relatively.
Noah Maxwelland Jack Meehan will also factor in on the mound. Maxwell can also play third, which Coucci is an option at first. Aidan Tremblayprovides another option at the corners, as well as behind the plate.
“I’m moving a few guys around,” Carvalho said. “It’s always a tough South Coast Conference. It’s going to take pitching, defense, and timely hitting, as always.”
Old Colony boys lacrosse welcomes in Sam Botelhoas the program’s new head coach. A graduate of Middleboro High School, Botelho walks into a unique situation, not only because it’s his first job as a head coach, but also because he’s only 22 years old.
His youth offers a fresh perspective to the game; however, he’s been aware from the start that this is a major adjustment for his athletes. Botelho has done his best to handle that accordingly.
“For these seniors, I can only imagine what it’s like having a young, new lacrosse coach come in their senior year and get things started,” Botelho said. “We started the first day of camp just talking about any feelings they had towards the program – good, bad, or indifferent – we started fresh that day.”
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar