Players to watch
Brian Christian , Plymouth North: After posting a 7-1 record and a 1.62 ERA last season, the senior captain will lead a Division 2 Eagles team with Super 8 aspirations.
Nick Falkson , Thayer Academy: After pacing the squad in RBIs last season, he belted a home run in Tuesday’s scrimmage against Hingham. The team’s third baseman and cleanup hitter from Dedham is one of nine seniors hoping to return Thayer to the top of the Independent School League.
Mike Gallagher , Stoughton: It feels like the senior hurler has been a Black Knight forever; he has been a contributor since freshman year. He leads a squad that advanced to last year’s Division 2 South final.
Joe Leahy , Hingham: The senior shortstop and captain capped last season with three hits and three RBIs in the Division 2 state championship game, a 7-6 win over Auburn.
Josh O’Neill , Silver Lake: Lakers coach Kenneth Tocci calls the league all-star one of the best outfielders he has ever coached, if not the best. Thanks to calm at the plate and speed on the bases, Tocci said, O’Neill is a sparkplug for a team hoping to improve on last year’s 17-6 mark.
Feldman’s Top 10 Teams
(Final record in 2013)
1. Bridgewater-Raynham (21-5); Junior aces Jack Connolly and Andrew Noviello are back from last year’s Division 1 state title team.
2. Hingham (21-6); The defending D2 state champs have stacked their schedule with several Division 1 foes, giving junior ace John Carlson more of a showcase after earning three of Hingham’s six playoff wins last year.
3. Walpole (19-4); Last season ended in disappointment as the South’s top seed in
Division 1 let a 6-0 cushion slip away against Bridgewater-Raynham in the South semis.
4. Braintree (15-5); The Wamps lost eight seniors, but return a bevy of young pitchers that should help the team qualify for a ninth straight postseason.
5. Norwood (17-5); Losing infielder Ken Michael and outfielder Anthony Perriello to graduation will hurt the Mustangs’ lineup. They’ll need some underclassmen to step up if they want to compete in a balanced Bay State Conference.
6. Silver Lake (17-6); Coach Kenneth Tocci must rely on an inexperienced rotation, but should have the offensive firepower to compete.
7. Plymouth North (15-7); If a couple of hitters step forward, the Eagles can do damage in the Atlantic Coast League.
8. Middleborough (21-5); A tough act to follow — the Sachems won the Division 3 state title with a 4-3 walkoff win over Hopedale; this season, they are making the move up to D2.
9. Stoughton (16-8); The Black Knights’ biggest question mark entering the season: replacing shortstop Pat Jackman.
10. Abington (20-4); There are major holes to be filled if the Green Wave are to make another deep run in the Division 3 tourney.