Gorman makes mark with fiery fastball
Six weeks ago, John Gorman was in the starting rotation at Boston College, compiling a very respectable 3.86 earned run average in the challenging Atlantic Coast Conference.
Transitioning to the bullpen this summer for the Bourne Braves, the hard-throwing righthander from Norwood has emerged as one of the hottest closers in the Cape Cod League.
The 2011 Catholic Memorial graduate has four saves and was unscored on in his first five appearances.
“He came in as a temporary roster player and has done a real nice job,” said Bourne coach Harvey Shapiro. “He’s a competitor and fits the closer’s role nicely.”
In his first two appearances, Gorman threw four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, leading to a full-time roster spot. His first save was a two-inning, no-hit outing in a 4-3 win at Brewster.
After finally yielding a single run in an 8-2 win over Brewster on June 27, Gorman’s ERA stood at 1.08. Opponents are hitting a scant .154 against the rising senior at BC. In 8.1 innings, Gorman has seven strikeouts and has allowed four walks and four hits.
“Coming out of the pen, I can just come into games and let loose,” said the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Gorman, who has a devastating slider and a fastball that tops out at 91 to 93 miles per hour. “I’m just going out for an inning or two, so it doesn’t hurt me to give it all I have.”
“I’ve been fortunate to locate my fastball well, so I haven’t needed to go to my offspeed stuff. I rely on my fastball and don’t show them anything else until they prove that they can hit it.”
Gorman has added incentive to pitch well this summer after being overlooked in last month’s Major League First-Year Player Draft. He did receive one bite in the draft, but the offer was not substantial enough to forgo his senior year at BC.
“Not getting drafted this year is definitely extra motivation, although I like to think I have enough already,” said Gorman.
“It does give you an extra boost. The fact that the draft didn’t go the way I’d have wanted does give me some additional fire to go out and have a great season at BC next year.”
Gorman is no stranger to closing.
As a freshman at BC, he made 22 appearances out of the pen and recorded four saves, allowing just six of 29 inherited runners to score. He split time as a starter and reliever during a sophomore year that saw his ERA balloon to 6.85.
This spring, as BC’s Friday night starter, he was just 3-8, but he fanned a team-high 68 batters in 74⅔ innings, and lowered his ERA.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s enjoying and thriving in a closer role,” said BC coach Mike Gambino.
“There is no stage that is too big for him. The best thing about John is that if you ask him if he wants to start or close, he’ll say both. He wants the ball for nine innings.
“As a starter this year his fastball was anywhere between 88 and 92. If he’s closing, my guess is that he’s maybe touching 94 miles an hour, a tick above the average Major League fastball.”
For Bourne (11-7), Gorman is currently sharing closer duties with Joey Strain.
“With John being a starter at BC he isn’t necessarily used to coming back two days in a row or three days out of five, so I’m trying to be cautious with him,” said Shapiro.
“I think it’s probably tougher to go from being starter to closer. When you start you can make a couple of mistakes and still finish strong. In relief, when you inherit runners, there is no room for error. So far, John has pitched very well.”
Here and there
Brockton’s Cait Snow captured second place among the elite women at the Ironman France competition held in Nice last weekend. She completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run in 9 hours 13 minutes 2 seconds, 41 seconds behind women’s winner Tine Beckers of Belgium.
The performance put Snow in good position to qualify for her fifth consecutive World Triathlon Championships in Kona, Hawaii, this fall. At the end of July, the top 25 women in terms of points will be invited to Kona, with 10 more receiving invitations by the end of August.
“I am currently in a good position,” said Snow, a 2000 graduate of Walpole High School who was sixth at Kona last year. “The race in Nice was amazing. The sights were beyond comparison, the bike course was good and challenging, and the whole event takes on a party atmosphere during the run, with boisterous fans and music. It was a blast.”
Snow emerged from the Mediterranean swim with the day’s third-fastest time (56:17), completed the bike route through the Alps in 5:17:56, and had the day’s fastest time on the roads, finishing the marathon course in 2:52:26. . . .
Devon Soucier, a standout on the women’s lacrosse team at Wheaton College, has been named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division 3 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Avon, Conn., native finished her career ranked first all-time in games played (78), second in draw controls (171), third in caused turnovers (128), and eighth in ground balls (172). A bioinformatics major, she graduated with a 3.84 GPA. . . .
A tip of a sailor’s cap to Bridgewater’s Jim Seavey, honored as one of three employees of the year at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He is entering his seventh year as the Academy’s director of sports information and scheduling coordinator. Previously, he served nine years at Stonehill College as associate director of athletics.
John R. Johnson can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.