Tabor Academy has had its share of impressive left-handed pitchers go on to play Division I college baseball this decade. A few years ago, it was P.J. Poulin (Marion) who’s coming out of the bullpen for UConn and posted a 3.39 ERA since he joined the Huskies program in 2015. Then there was Jared Shuster, who started his career with Wake Forest this season. Now Coach Ken Ackerman has Colin Ahearn, who just verbally committed to play for the University of Tennessee in the nation’s best college baseball conference: the Southeastern Conference.
Ahearn is only a sophomore, but he’ll be competing against historically strong programs, including Florida, Vanderbilt, and LSU, among others. Ahearn chose Tennessee over three other strong DI schools – Duke, Clemson and Wake Forest – all from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I thought I had the best connection to their staff,” Ahearn said. “They’re up and coming right now. I’ve talked to their recruiting coach, Coach (Josh) Elander, since the fall and felt a good connection. Then I visited the school over March break, got to know (Head) Coach (Tony) Vitello, the rest of the staff, some players and see the campus and really liked it.”
Like Shuster, Ahearn has the opportunity to not only pitch, but also play the outfield in college. Though Shuster elected to just pitch after trying to do both in the fall, Ahearn has a few years before he’ll have to make a definitive decision, or decides to stick with both.
But Ahearn’s upside on the mound may force him to just pitch, given he’s sitting 84-86 and touching 87, which is right around where average DI left-handed pitchers sit.
Reflecting back on a decision he made less than two years ago, which is odd for the average teenager, Ahearn knows that electing to go to Tabor Academy was one of the most important decisions he’s made. Not only did it give him experience away from home, though only a short drive away to Lakeville, but it allowed him to face a level of competition that forced him to constantly improve.
“It’s been a different experience for me, living away from home,” Ahearn said. “Playing for the baseball team has definitely been huge for me. Allowed me to play at the next level and pitch against the best teams in New England, which has really helped in my development.”
Through five starts this year, Ahearn has a 3.65 ERA and struck out 37 batters over 23 innings. At the plate, he’s hitting .370 with two home runs and 13 RBI in nine games.
Girls’ lacrosse has displayed no signs of slowing down this season, improving to 6-0 with Monday’s 16-3 win over Upper Cape.
Elana Sargent and Molly Lankowski each scored four goals for the Cougars, while also logging some assists, three and one, respectively. The Cougars (6-0) will play in Abington on Wednesday.
Boys’ lacrosse didn’t have the same luck against Upper Cape, losing 8-7 in the final seconds of the match. Tyler Bosse and Brad Plissey led Old Colony with two goals apiece. The Cougars (4-3) host Southeastern on Thursday.
Softball has dealt with a few rainouts but was able to take care of Westport in their last game, cruising to an 18-5 win. With the win, Emily Littles improved to 4-2 on the year, with her ERA now at 2.60. Littles has pitched 35 innings for the Cougars this year and struck out 59, while only walking nine.
Littles also continues to dominate the plate, now hitting .619 through Old Colony’s six games. Katherine Kirby isn’t far behind her, hitting .520 with a team-high 11 RBI.
Old Colony (4-2, 2-1 Mayflower Athletic Conference) visits Bristol Aggie on Wednesday.
Baseball has won back-to-back games after knocking off Norfolk Aggie 3-0, then Cape Cod Tech 10-3.
Drew Sullivan leads the team in average (.548), doubles (seven), and is tied with Reese Vandal for the lead in RBI (13). Vandal is tearing the cover off the ball in his freshman campaign, hitting .484 through 10 games, trailing only Sullivan. Brandon Zakrowsky has also done well at the dish, hitting .438 with eight RBI and four doubles.
On the mound, Matt Bumpus and Jacob Worden are both 3-1. Worden has only walked seven batters over 25 2/3 innings, while striking out 20. Bumpus has 21 K’s himself, over 16 innings, posting a 3.94 ERA. Ryan McGuiggan has been dominant from the bullpen, posting a 2.33 ERA while striking out 13 hitters in nine innings of work.
The Cougars (8-2, 4-0 Mayflower Athletic Conference) visit Bristol Plymouth on Thursday at 6:30 pm and visit Dartmouth on Monday at 4:00 pm.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar