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Legion Players New and Old Start Strong

At some point this summer, the Milford Legion baseball team is likely going to lose a game. When that happens, manager Brian Macchi may not know how to react. After guiding his Milford High softball team to a 25-0 season and a state championship, he has the Milford Legion baseball team out to a 4-0 start in Zone 4 play.
"I'm very pleased," he said. "I'm encouraged by the pitching, out of the five or six guys we have seen so far, they have all shown they can compete at this level."
Connor Colombo, a Nipmuc product and first-year legion player, earned a win Sunday against previously unbeaten Leominster. He's not the only newbie to make an immediate impact for Milford. Hopkinton sophomore Andrew McMillan has grabbed the starting spot at second base early in the year and has been hitting second in the line-up. "He has really progressed and has come up with some big hits," said Macchi of McMillan, whose older brother, E.G., also plays for the team. "He has done a great job transitioning from the high school team to the legion."
Some players, like recent Milford High grad Matt Ferrelli, have just picked up where they left off. The first baseman and clean up hitter batted close to .500 during the high school season, and drive in five runs through the first three games of the year for Macchi's squad.
On the mound, Milford products and legion veterans JJ Branch and Steve Morganelli have stood out, with each picking up multiple wins early in the year. Macchi has been able to go deep into his bullpen, with EG McMillan, Eric Jorgensen, and Ian Strom all providing innings in relief. The pitching staff has been ably handled by yet another newcomer, BMR junior Nick Crivello.
"Nick has done a great job managing the pitchers, blocking balls, and being a good receiver," said Macchi. "He has also contributed in the line-up and is getting a feel for what legion ball is like."
Despite averaging more than eight runs per game, Macchi feels his team will start to find its offensive stride once the grind of the legion schedule sets in. Due to the high school seasons and the number of tournaments at the end of the year, the regular season is condensed into a little more than six weeks.
"Our hitting is going to become more solid and more consistent as we get into the season," said Macchi. "Some of these guys had to deal with time off between the end of the high school year and the start of legion, plus rain outs and other delays. It makes it tougher to get that consistency. I'm excited to start playing four to five games per week."




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