He held too much promise for Division 1 schools to wait.
The jam-packed schedule of games will continue this summer as Bellinger chases his dream of one day playing in the major leagues. He will make his way to Florida, Virginia, Minnesota, South Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona for various high-level tournaments.
David Bellinger , Justin’s father, estimates that he has been to 900 baseball games in Justin’s career. Though it’s been an exhausting ride at times, he said, he knows there’s nothing else Justin would rather do.
“To get to where he wants to be, he knows he needs to work twice or three times as hard as all the kids in Florida, Texas, the Panhandle, because they’re all outside most of the year and he’s not,” his father said. “We’ve helped him with that work regime, and he loves it.”
While maintaining honors marks in the classroom, Bellinger works out seven days a week, either at the Northeast Baseball indoor facility in Hudson, at the Skills of Strength gym in Chelmsford, or on a field to supplement the work he does with St. Sebastian’s.
Because he’s chasing a goal, he never gets tired of it. He has put in the time to go from really good to exceptional, and now he wants to see where he can go from here.
Newton North pitchers try out for each game
Newton North softball coach Lauren Baugher admits the routine is a little out of the ordinary.
Before every game she has both of her pitchers — sophomore Liv Sloane and freshman Gabby Vachon — warm up as though they will start. After watching them throw and meeting with her catchers, Baugher decides which pitcher is the best option on that particular day and chooses a starter.
It’s a system that has worked out well. The Tigers were 7-1 — including five wins in a row — last week, and her underclassmen in the pitching circle have helped lead the way. Sloane has a 1.25 ERA through 25 innings, while Vachon has a 1.40 ERA through 15 innings this season.
“It’s a great option to have,” Baugher said. “I have two really good pitchers that I can actually rely on. It is a little unusual because in the past we’ve had upperclassmen with a little more experience, and you kind of give a nod to them as opposed to somebody who’s a freshman. But now, since they’re both young, they both offer something different and it’s great. I have two people I can go to.”
Sloane normally has slightly more velocity, while Vachon’s pitches tend to move a little bit more. Their demeanor on the mound, though, is similar, according to their coach.
“They’re the same in terms of intensity and competitiveness,” she said. “They both want the ball.”
Kudos for Fredericks; special visit for Wellesley
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional coach Kirk Fredericks has been named MIAA Baseball Coach of the Year. Fredericks led his team to a record of 18-5 last season, and he also proposed the new baseball playoff format for MIAA Division 1A teams; similar to the Super 8 format used by the MIAA in hockey, his system will begin a two-year pilot stint next spring. . . The Red Sox donated tickets so that Wellesley High’s baseball team could catch up with alumni Nate Freiman, a first baseman/DH for the Oakland Athletics, during their game Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com.