|Carver resident Kyle Larrow plays second and short for the Waimea Waves of the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League. (Kurt Svoboda)|
Hawaii baseball league a hit with Carver’s Larrow
Hawaii a hit with Carver’s Larrow Beaches, restaurants, surfing, and hotel living are all part of the attractive summer package for the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League, aptly called “Experience Hardball in Paradise.’’
Carver’s Kyle Larrow said he’s enjoyed the amenities, but that the 40-games-in-50-days schedule has been a tougher grind than in college.
“It’s a big challenge and it takes some adjustment,’’ said Larrow, a rising junior at Harvard University who has played second and short for the Waimea Waves, one of the league’s six teams.
But he’s hardly in unfamiliar company.
The league’s rosters include several players from New England and from other Ivy League teams, including Walpole High grad Sam Murray, a junior pitcher at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Murray, unfortunately, had to cut his season short last week with the Oahu Paddlers because of a slightly torn labrum in his (left) pitching arm that will probably require surgery.
Tufts and Northeastern have also sent players to Hawaii this season.
Larrow rooms at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu with two of his Harvard teammates, Jordan Haviland and Rob Wineski, along with Wineski’s brother Daniel, who plays at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Haviland also plays with the Waves.
“Kyle has good baseball instincts and has made some tremendous plays defensively up the middle. He has also done a great job of executing offensively and being a vocal leader,’’ said Waves manager Josh Hansen, an assistant head coach at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
League teams play an average of six games a week: weekday games are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Central Oahu Regional Park and the weekend games at 9 a.m., noon, or 3 p.m. at Mililani High School.
“These fields keep you pretty honest; some of the infields are rock-hard so it makes you stay down and make plays,’’ said Larrow, who played on two state championship teams at BC High and had a big hit in the title game in 2009 against St. John’s High of Shrewsbury.
“I’ve also changed my approach at the plate a few times because of the quality of the pitching.
“I’ve really enjoyed Hawaii. It seems to be 83 and sunny every day, we have a membership at a gym close to the hotel, and the beaches are incredible,’’ said Larrow, who also toured the Pearl Harbor Memorial, calling the trip a moving experience.
He has also been tutored by former Red Sox catcher Bob Geren, who was fired earlier this season as manager of the Oakland A’s. Geren traveled to Hawaii to help coach the Waves and be with his sons, Rob, a third baseman at Princeton, and Brett, a catcher who will be a freshman at Princeton.
“Bob takes us aside and goes over infield coverage or how to call for pop-ups, elementary but important parts of the game,’’ said Larrow, who was hitting .222 through last weekend, but had two of his four doubles Friday in a 10-0 rout of the Hawaii Aliis. “It’s been great fun to pick his brain because of his experience.’’
Murray, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2010 as a sophomore when he was 7-2 with a 2.45 earned run average, said he enjoyed his time in Hawaii despite his setback.
“Coming from a Division 3 college, I wasn’t sure how I would be accepted,’’ he said. “But I enjoyed my teammates and the people in Hawaii were very welcoming and I was able to compete in relief against some very good hitters. I know that being in Hawaii will make me a better pitcher in the long run after I rehab from the injury.’’
St. Joseph’s head coach Will Sanborn, who used Murray mainly as a starter to give him more rest between games, expects that his ace will come back pain-free and regain his form of two seasons ago.
Foxborough squad takes Ripken title Under the direction of former Red Sox minor leaguer Paul Rappoli, the Foxborough American “9’s’’ baseball team won the Cal Ripken League District Tournament in Wrentham while allowing just three runs in four games. Foxborough advanced to the state tournament that runs Saturday through July 22 in Lowell.
Team members: Adam Lanctot; Bobby Yerardi; Dylan Barreira; Matt Garcia; Kyle Parker; Will Morrison; Michael Barrett; Michael Devlin; the coach’s son, Reece Rappoli; Kyle McGinnis; Joe McGahan; Cam Hassett; and Phil Thomas. Rappoli, who owns the RBI Baseball Academy in Foxborough, is assisted by Tom Garcia and Tony Barreira.
“The kids love to play the game and they play it the right way fundamentally,’’ said Rappoli, a Stoughton native who starred at Xaverian Brothers. “Teaching them at this stage of their development has been fun and seeing the smiles on their faces when they make a good play says it all.’’
Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.