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Luke Mathewson was Woodstock Academy’s top hitter and pitcher in his senior season, going 7-4 on the mound and hitting .432. Photo by Joel Tretheway/The Woodstock Academy.

Centaur baseball season ends
The hugs at the end of the game May 30 quickly led to tears.
Unfortunately, in high school baseball, only four teams leave the field with tears of joy.
The Woodstock Academy program was hoping it might be one of those.
Jonathan Law had other ideas.
The Milford-based high school came to the Quiet Corner and handed the Centaurs a 9-0 loss in a Class L state tournament game.
“That’s a very good team,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy. “I’m proud of our guys. We battled. (Thursday) just wasn’t our day. They saved their ace for us and he looked like their ace. You have to give credit where it’s due and the kid pitched an outstanding game and they had some timely hits.”
Josh Baker faced just three batters over the minimum.
He set the Centaurs down in order in the first three innings before hitting Eric Preston with a pitch with two outs in the fourth inning. Luke Mathewson followed with a single but Baker’s third strikeout of four got him out of the inning.
Pete Spada had the only other hit, a single, in the sixth inning for the Centaurs.
“He had a great fast ball, definitely mid-80’s, something we haven’t seen much of this year so it was tough to get the bat around on it,” Mathewson said.
Woodstock Academy had high hopes coming into the game.
The Lawmen were only the No. 26 seed and had just got past No. 7 Wilcox Tech, 6-1, May 29.
It gave the 23rd-seeded Centaurs a bonus home game.
“We thought we had a chance,” Mathewson said. “Second-round game at home, we felt like we had a chance for sure. I thought Senior Day was going to be our last home game, but winning (Wednesday) meant we had a good chance at playing another home game. It was just a tough outcome.”
Jonathan Law reached Woodstock Academy starter Preston for three runs in the second inning.
“We knew we would have to grind it out and I even started out an inning with Doug Newton trying to bunt his way on. We knew we had to manufacture something. They were a confident team and you could see why, they were nine-deep in the batting order and had their ace on the mound, but we battled,” Murphy said.
The Lawmen put the game out of reach with three more runs in the fifth and three in the seventh.
The Centaurs made it look easy in the first round.
They delivered one of their better offensive performances of the season in a 10-0 win over 10th-seeded Hillhouse High School.
Mathewson would have liked to have saved some of the 16-hit attack to use against Jonathan Law. He didn’t need all of that support as he allowed the Academics just one hit, struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.
“I didn’t want to take off the Woodstock Academy jersey yet,” said Mathewson who will be playing for Westfield State in the fall. “I wanted to put it on at least one more time so I had to go out there and do what I can for the team.”
Mathewson’s effort meant he finished the season with a 7-4 record on the mound including seven complete games. He allowed only 13 earned runs and 50 hits in 64 innings for an earned run average of 1.42. His control was superb throughout the season as he struck out 80 and only yielded nine walks.
“Luke is a special kid,” Murphy said. “I’ve given him the ball in some funny circumstances this year and he’s just a competitor.”
Mathewson had three hits and an RBI in the win over Hillhouse to finish with a team-best .432 batting average. He was also second on the team in RBIs with 19.
Preston took that runs batted in title with 20 and hit .328 on the season. He had two of those and four hits in the win over the Academics.
Nathan John was the third of the senior trio in the middle of the batting order. The first baseman hit at a .343 clip with 18 runs driven in.
“Eric was a competitor every game. Nate John had an incredible year. Pete Spada was great in relief despite a bad knee and Matt Moffitt stole us a run against Plainfield and won the game for us. We’re going to miss those guys next year,” Murphy said.
The Centaurs finished with a 12-12 mark.
“We’re happy. Twelve wins. That’s (two) more than last year. Great season. I’m incredibly proud of all these guys who put on the uniform every day. Some play more than others, but we all did our job,” Mathewson said.
Murphy will not have empty shelves returning next year.
He will have to replace the heart of his order but he started that process this year with freshmen Jonathan Smith (.281, 7 RBIs, 3 doubles); Hamilton Barnes (.231, 5 RBIs) and Brendan Hill .214, 3 RBIs) all seeing plenty of playing time.
The Centaurs will also should have their No. 3 starting pitcher, Tommy Li (4-3, 2.51 era in 22 1/3 innings) back. Li was also solid at the plate with a .303 batting average and eight RBIs. Newton (.235, 7 RBIs), Jacob Hernandez (.234, 3 RBIs, 2 doubles) and Luis Miranda (.246, 7 RBIs) are also slated to return. “We look to build on our successes. We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We’re excited about next year. Sad to see these guys go, but we will get ready for next year,” Murphy said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director,
The Woodstock Academy


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