Impressive pg 1 4-11-19

player puts
team on top
It’s nice to have a player like Luke Mathewson on a baseball team.
The Woodstock Academy senior is what could be termed a “stopper.”
Put the ball in his hands on the mound and there is a good chance that the team comes away with a win.
Such was the case two times this past week as Mathewson tossed a pair of shutouts, handing New London an 11-0 defeat early last week and following that up April 7 with an 8-0 win over Killingly.
“He’s just an impressive kid,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy. “He’s just an impressive kid. He comes to the field with a great attitude, pumps up the team and is a leader on and off the field. Those were gems. We’re going to need a few of those from him.”
Mathewson held New London to just one hit, struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter.
He was also effective at the plate in that game where he delivered a pair of hits, both doubles, and three RBIs for the Centaurs.
He had similar numbers against the Redmen.
Mathewson went six innings, gave up six hits, with eight strikeouts, but again failed to yield a run as the Centaurs improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in Division II of the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
“We’ll take it,” Murphy said of the start. “Knowing the potential of this team, it would have been nice to be 4-0. We had a great game against New London, the kids came out hungry, but we came out flat against (Norwich Free Academy) and the kids know it.”
The Centaurs opened the season on March 30 with an impressive 32-2 win over Capital Prep which certainly served to bolster batting averages for the beginning of the season.
Senior Nathan John had five hits in six trips and drove in six runs for the Centaurs in the win while Pete Spada added a 3-for-3 performance with three RBIs. Mathewson added two hits and two RBIs.
With that game in hand, the Centaurs bats were primed for another strong performance against the Whalers on April 1.
They gave Mathewson all the support he needed with a 13-hit attack.
In addition to Mathewson’s efforts at the plate, freshman Jon Smith had a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. John improved his average to .727 with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate including a double and three runs batted in.
“Nate really looked good (against New London), his outs were hard outs. The impressive thing is that we’re trying to work on our two-strike approach and driving the ball to right and in that New London game, he did that. He hit a couple of lasers to right,” Murphy said.
Luis Miranda and Doug Newton also added a pair of hits.
But the Centaurs came back to earth April 3 in Norwich when the Wildcats handed them a 7-1 loss.
“Give NFA credit, they jumped on us right away with four runs, they hit the ball well and their (pitcher Vinny Gaultieri) threw strikes,” Murphy said. “NFA has a good program, but that was one where we should have been more competitive in that game. In my past career, I worked with a lot of adults and the psyche of high school kids is a little different. They have given me a little education. We have some young kids and they just have to give themselves permission to play baseball. I tell them to play like they are in the backyard; I don’t mind the errors, no one likes them but you understand them, just go out and play and have fun and you can compete in the ECC.”
The only run in the game came when Nate Roethlein scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. Mathewson and Travis White had the only hits in the game for the Centaurs.
But Woodstock Academy righted the ship on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The game with Killingly was pushed back from Friday due to inclement weather.
Smith and Miranda had RBI singles in the bottom of the first to give Mathewson a little cushion to work with against the Redmen.
Eric Preston doubled home a run in the second and Mathewson singled home another in the fourth. The Centaurs put the game out of reach in the fifth when they scored three times. Tommy Li and Preston drove in runs and another scored on a ground out to give the Centaurs the insurmountable lead.
The Centaurs do have something to look forward to.
Their spring vacation week will be spent at Myrtle Beach, S.C. next week. Before they can think about that, the Centaurs had to play Ellington on Monday (the game ended too late for this edition), Ledyard on Wednesday and East Lyme on Friday.
“We have a tough schedule. We need to take them one game at a time, I don’t like looking ahead and I tell the team the same thing,” Murphy said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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