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Milford Legion Reloads for 2011

Coming into his first season at the helm, Milford Legion manager Brian Macchi wasn't exactly sure what to expect. He had plenty of experience, having played four years of legion ball, but the view from the coaching perspective was very different.
"It's a different mentality because you are trying to fit18 guys into a puzzle," said Macchi, whose first legion squad went 13-9 before being eliminated in the Zone 4 play-offs. "We really focused on that at the tryouts this year and I expect each guy we took to fill a specific role this year."
Perhaps the biggest role to be filled for the 2011 squad is the catching position. Michael Spates caught nearly every inning of every game last season, but the Milford native has gone onto Bentley University and is out of legion eligibility.
Fortunately, Macchi has several options behind the plate this year with both familiar and fresh faces expected to be in the mix. Hopkinton senior E.G. McMillan was the team's leading hitter last season and will see time at catcher, first base, and even on the mound. "He is very versatile and can play everywhere, we are looking to lean on him a lot," said Macchi. "He came up big for us in a lot of situations last year."
Newcomer Scott Lueders also figures to see time behind the dish. The Newton native moved to Milford during the off-season and is coming in off a year of club baseball at Drexel. Milford High catcher Robert Benjamin rounds out a solid catching contingent.
Milford's Jack Murray is expected to be the ace of the pitching staff. He stood out on the mound for both Milford High and the legion program last season and just completed his freshman year playing for Rollins College in Florida. "Looking at him in tryouts, it really seemed like he went down (to Rollins) with the right mindset and worked hard to get better and stronger," said Macchi. "We are looking forward to him being one of our top starters."
Milford High ace Jarrod Casey will also return, and is among a large group of current or former MHS players that make up the team's nucleus. Fellow returners Jimmy Hayes, Chris Casey, Matt Gerrard, Matt Ferrelli, and Andy Baranauskas and newcomers JJ Branch, Kyle Cannole, Chris Manguso, Steve Morganelli, and Benjamin will all likely start or play significant reserve roles. "We felt like we were young last year, and to have so many sophomores and juniors get that experience and come back this year is great for the program," said Macchi.
Rounding out the roster are Nolan Lynch, Ian Strom, Dan Mantoni, and Nick White, all of whom can play multiple positions, including pitcher. Altogether, Milford boasts a pitching staff that runs 12 deep.
"When you look at the veterans we have back who provide great leadership," said Macchi. "There is a lot of talent and guys that can full multiple roles; it should be an exciting year for the program."




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