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Saluting DS baseball’s 2020 senior class

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The 2020 senior class at Dover-Sherborn represented the final remaining group of players from the 2017 Division III South and Eastern Mass champion baseball team.

Four years ago, this group shocked the entire Massachusetts high school baseball community by making a run all the way to the state championship game as an eight-seed before falling to Auburn (4-1) out in Worcester. This spring was set to be the final go at a state championship for the 2020 seniors who were on that 2017 team as freshmen. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other ideas, and the entire 2020 MIAA spring season was cancelled before it even began.

"When they were freshmen and we went to the state final game, these guys had some great baseball role models ahead of them," said head coach Steve Ryan when asked about the developments and progressions this 2020 class has made. "That senior group in 2017 really inspired everybody behind them to get rejuvenated and excited about baseball. These guys {the 2020 seniors} just carried that torch ever since for our program. I feel really bad for these seniors because they've worked hard and they thought they had a chance to make some noise and be a great team this year and unfortunately they lost their season."

The 2020 senior class for DS baseball had six members, two of whom were set to serve as co-captains: Carter Eaton and Kirby Ryan.

"[Carter] Eaton was going to be a starting pitcher, and likely our team's No. 3 hitter," said coach Ryan. "Kirby was going to be our starting shortstop. He'd been our starting shortstop the last two years. He was poised to have another good year hitting-wise and in the field."

DS also returned shortstop/centerfielder Hans Heer, second baseman Noah Teich, pitcher Martin Sarro and outfielder Nathan Sarro.

"Hans [Heer] played shortstop and played a little bit on varsity as a freshman, so he had experience with those guys that went to the state final. He was going to be our centerfielder this year and lead-off batter," said Ryan.

"Noah [Teich] has been a really good kid since his freshman year," said Ryan. "He's a hard worker and does everything you ask. He was a utility guy for us and was going to have the chance to be a real solid starter for us this season."

"Martin [Sarro] pitched around 25 innings for us last year so he was going to be a big part of our rotation this season," said Ryan. "Nathan was going to be a big producer for us playing outfield. Both of them were going to be in the starting lineup."

Baseball is in a tough spot. At the high school level, there is a solid chance that kids won't play organized baseball for over a year, with the 2020 season cancelled and the 2021 season so far away. Coach Ryan acknowledges that the world is changing, but says he and his staff must continue to build excitement for the sport within the DS program in order to help baseball get back to where it once was.

"Obviously things are changing," said Ryan. "The lure of baseball isn't what it used to be and I hope it can be cyclical and that it comes back. I think Major League Baseball certainly is not doing themselves any good by potentially not playing at all this year. So, our job at the youth level is to build up the excitement and build the enjoyment of that sport and show everybody what a great sport it is. There's a reason why it was the No. 1 sport for years. Unfortunately, it's lost a little popularity and I hope it's cyclical and I think it's our job as coaches to instill the joy of the sport into the kids."

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.

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