The old adage in baseball is that you can never have enough good pitching.
This statement generalizes what the 2011 baseball team will be all about. With three pitchers all heading to play college baseball next fall, Dexter has aligned itself to maintain and even improve upon a 21-3 record last year.
If you are going to start talking about Dexter baseball you have to begin with Florida-bound, and a potential draft pick in the MLB, John Magliozzi. Magliozzi doesn’t have the stature of a No. 1 pitcher, but his stuff might be second to none in Massachusetts.
With a fastball in the mid-90’s, and a couple of plus-breaking balls, Magliozzi has secured the No. 1 spot.
Barrett O’Neil might not be a No. 2. He’s probably more like a 1A. O’Neil is the top recruit pitching wise for the University of Virginia next year, and with at 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound frame he has the physical stature to be a workhorse.
Rounding out the group that will get the “lion’s share” of the innings, according to head coach Dan Donato, is Nick Malatos.
Malatos is a tall left-hander that uses offspeed pitches and a mid-80s fastball to get hitters out. He might not have the overpowering fastball on the radar gun, but Donato knows he has a third piece of the pie that gives Dexter a heads up on the competition.
“He finds a way to win,” Donato said of the Babson-bound Malatos, who has not lost a game in two years. “He’s not going to overpower you, but he sneaks it in there. He sneaks it in on your hands and he does a nice job of mixing locations for depth and perceptions of hitters.”
All three pitchers have the ability to shut a lineup down for a full seven innings, so any early runs for the offense can change the tide of the game really quickly.
“What’s daunting is if we get out and get up two, three or four to nothing, I think it kills a lot of team’s confidence,” said Donato. “We have enough offense where we can take command of a game sometimes.”
Magliozzi in the leadoff spot and O’Neil in the three-hole will spearhead the lineup. Look for Pat Curtis, Brendan Fitzgerald, Kevin Green and Malcolm Kelly to add pop to a growing lineup.
“If our bats are clicking we are very dangerous,” said Donato. “I’d say we are a good hitting team. I wouldn’t say we are great yet. But we have the potential to be hard to play against.”
Kelly, who also has the task of catching the talented pitching staff, has the ability to get streaky, according to his coach.
“You look at him as a Jason Varitek in some ways,” said Donato. “He does a great job of handling the staff, but he is streaky. When he is on a hot streak, he’s one of the only kids who has had three home runs in a game. He’s pretty good at that.”
Dexter is not a member of the Independent School League, but it does participate in a season-ending tournament with the teams in that league. Donato and his bunch made it all the way to the title game before bowing out to BB&N last season, but the pieces are in place to make another run.