|John Andreoli, a graduate of St. John’s High in Shrewsbury, will play for Wareham in the Cape Cod League’s all-star game tomorrow at Fenway. (Frannie Kloza/Sportspix)|
St. John’s Andreoli gets All-Star turn
John Andreoli continues to talk contract with the
“If you keep looking at the stat sheet,’’ said Andreoli, an outfielder who bats second for the Wareham Gatemen, “this game will kick you right in the butt and this league will eat you up.’’
Named to play in the Cape League’s all-star game tomorrow night at Fenway Park, Andreoli was the Gatemen’s second-leading hitter (.297, 28-for-94) with a pair of doubles through last weekend, and had also racked up 14 runs scored, and seven stolen bases in eight attempts.
“It’s a huge honor on a big stage,’’ he said. “I’ll cherish it the rest of my life.’’
This spring, Andreoli helped propel the University of Connecticut to its first Big East regular-season title and the NCAA Division 1 Super Regional finals. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound righthanded hitter compiled a .317 average while starting all 66 games for the Huskies (45-20-1).
“Getting drafted was an unbelievable experience, a dream come true, and a great opportunity,’’ said Andreoli, a 17th-round pick by the Cubs in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft last month. “But we’re still talking to the Cubs and I’m taking it day by day. I had three goals: to play Division 1 college ball; play in the Cape League, which I feel hands down is the best college summer league in the country; and to get drafted.
“Right now. I’m just trying to help our team win and everything else will take care of itself. If I stay here the whole summer, that’s great because I can go back to UConn and try to help our team win another championship.’’
Wareham’s manager, Cooper Farris, whose coaching staff includes former big-league outfielder Curtis Pride, likes what Andreoli brings to the field.
“John comes to play, he works on every aspect of his game, and is a leader. And he’s swinging the bat better than when he was with us last year,’’ said Farris. “He has great speed and that helps him beat out some balls and keep his average up. He’s hard to double up and he’s a line-drive hitter with some pop in his bat.
“I hope he’ll be with us all summer, but I’m sure the Cubs are watching him like a hawk. But John hasn’t let that pressure get to him.’’
Batting primarily in the No. 2 spot at UConn made the transition to the tougher pitching in the wooden-bat league a bit easier for Andreoli. A first cousin - Luke Bard, younger brother of
“Batting second, you can do a lot of the little but important things: moving runners over, bunting, setting up the three and four hitters,’’ said Andreoli. “In college, over a weekend, you face the opposition’s best pitcher on Friday, then work your way to their number two and three pitchers by Sunday. Here, you’re facing a Friday pitcher every day.
“I just try to learn as much as possible, attack the ball early and not get behind in the count, and place the ball up the middle if possible,’’ added Andreoli.
“Curtis Pride has been a great inspiration to all of us. You can’t get any better advice than from a former major leaguer who had to fight through adversity to get to the top,’’ he said, referring to Pride’s hearing disability.
His father, John Andreoli, who played football at Holy Cross and briefly with the
His “second family,’’ Mike and Cindy Perola of Wareham, have hosted Andreoli the past two Cape League seasons.
“They treat me like their own son,’’ said Andreoli, who has hosted his teammates on frequent occasions at the Perolas’ swimming pool.
Hopkins shines on Bentley gridiron Bentley University safety and Waltham High graduate Don Hopkins has been named a preseason honorable-mention Division 2 All-America by the Consensus Draft Services.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hopkins was the defensive MVP for the Falcons, and a first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference selection last season. He had six interceptions, second in the NE-10. He ranked fifth in Division 2 in interceptions per game.
Hopkins, who didn’t play during the 2009 season after a solid freshman year, was also second on the team last fall with 61 tackles.
He and his twin brother, Steve Hopkins, who also patrols the defensive backfield for Bentley, have been named captains of the football team as seniors this fall.
Rowing honors for Belmont teen Belmont’s John
Puma is competing with the club’s Gold Junior summer program for high school rowers. He has been training since early last month on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and will next compete at the 129th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, Ontario, from Aug. 2 to 8.
Puma, who will be a senior at Boston College High School, rowed with the Eagles’ first varsity heavyweight eight last season.
Calder Cup hero With the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup trophy in tow, Marlborough’s Bobby Butler will sign autographs at New England Sports Center Saturday morning from 9:30 to 11:30.
The rookie right wing netted 21 points in 36 games for the
He recently signed a two-year, $2.15 million deal with Ottawa.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.