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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
With a significant portion of their starting pitching rotation from a season ago returning, the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School varsity baseball team eyes a successful season within and outside of the TVL in 2017.
Experience should not be an issue for this band of Raiders, as they will be led by their four senior captains in shortstop Luke Turo, DH/pitcher Ryan Sliwinski, third baseman/pitcher Owen Webb, and outfielder/pitcher Hank Reinhart. Head coach Steve Ryan says that he has high hopes for this group of senior leaders, and that he expects Webb and Sliwinski to be the team’s bread and butter on the mound.
“We need dominant seasons on the mound from Sliwinski and Webb,” said Ryan. “This game has become about pitching, and those two each have potential to be league All-Stars. We have six seniors on this team, which is a lot for us. Webb (2016) and Sliwinski (2015) are both returning team MVP’s, so we’re excited to have them both back.”
Another senior that Ryan expects to play a major role this season is first baseman, Eric Levine.
“Eric is a solid power hitter,” said Ryan. “I can see him playing a big role for us this season. When he is hitting the ball consistently, our offense is at its best.”
Ryan said that another strength of his team is their two outstanding catchers, senior Jamie Wright and junior Cole Condon, and praised the two backstops for their abilities in controlling the pitching staff, calling a good game, and giving the Raiders some production at the plate.
“We have two solid catchers returning in Jamie and Cole,” said Ryan. “They each played well for the last two years and are ready to control our pitchers and have breakout seasons at the plate.”
The nucleus of DS’s outfield will be center fielder, Holden Ferrari, who lives up to his last name as a speedy and versatile guy according to Ryan.
“Holden is a big part of our team as the starting center fielder and lead-off man,” said Ryan. “We obviously like to utilize his speed in the outfield and at the plate. He should be able to replace Bret Rowean (class of 2016) as our leader in stolen bases and on base percentage.”
Notable underclassmen that coach Ryan expects a big season out of include pitcher/infielder Jon Musgrave, second baseman Jake Scurrah, and left fielder Matt Strong.
“Jon should be able to work his way into a full-time role as a starting pitcher while contributing in the infield,” said Ryan. “Scurrah has looked strong thus far and has earned himself the starting second base job. We’re also excited to see what Matt Strong can do, as he should be able to carry a big part of the offensive load.”
As far as expectations go, Ryan says that a berth in the state tournament and competing for a conference title are certainly within reach.
“Our expectation is to make the state tournament and to compete for our school’s first ever league title in baseball. We’re excited to get it rolling.” said Ryan.