Huskies hope bats return for playoffs

After fast start, Mt. Hope baseball finishes regular season in slump

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The Mt. Hope high school 2017 regular season baseball campaign has come to an end. An inconsistent year ended in a 3-5 slump that dropped their record to 10-8 overall.

After a hot start to the season offensively, the Huskies’ offense was averaging just 3.25 runs per game during said slump.

“Our bats died down a little bit,” Mt. Hope head coach Michael Mazzarella said. “We got off to a fast start this season and then we kind of tailed off. Unfortunately, our lineup has faded off. We have a lot of young guys and they go up and down so hopefully we can get them going again in the playoffs.”

However, even still, not everyone is performing poorly with the bat including a standout junior leadoff hitter.

“Charlie Amarante has been our standout all year,” Coach Mazzarella said. “He is probably the best leadoff hitter in our division. Kid just hits, that is what he does. We go with him everyday and he sets the tone for our lineup. It is just a matter of the guys behind him.”

While the performances at the plate has cooled off for Mt. Hope, the performances on the mound have not, led by one of the best pitchers in Division II.

“I think our strength of the season has been our pitching, they have done a good job all year long,” Coach Mazzarella said. “Jacob Servant has our been CY Young nomination for us this year. He is a first or second team all division guy and he has been good. Hopeful we can get him some rest and throw him game one in the playoffs.”

Mt. Hope now tries to turn their attention to the upcoming postseason with a long eight day layoff.

“I think it (the long layoff) will help us, we are a little banged up right now,” Coach Mazzarella said. “As of right now we are kind of slipping into the playoffs so we would like to use the eight days to get better. Hopefully our pitching will holdup for the playoffs”
For the now, the Huskies are gong to focus on trying to inject some energy into their team and lineup before play resumes.

“We have to have some good practices,” Coach Mazzerlla said. “We wait and sit to see who we play. I think we have to have some high intensity practices and kind of get the energy going that kickstarts us going into the playoffs.”

“We are probably going to end up between the six and eight spot which puts us in a decent spot,” he continued. “There is some good teams so you would like to avoid them. We are in the waiting game as of now.”

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.