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The 2015 Mount St. Charles Varsity Baseball Team, R.I. Division II State Champs, l-r: Back Row-Coach Tom Seaver, Eric Abruzzi, Joe Barter, Alex Hale, John Montani, Alex Lataille, Andrew Uttermann, Colin Cannata, Ryan Choate, Josh Robert, and Coach Pat Lydon; Middle Row-John Cutler, Tate Laquerre, Kevin Valentine, Mike Dixon and Justin D'Abrosca; and Front Row-Nick Dash, Tyler Rudek, Tyson Szynal, Jared Finnerty and Joe Sanchioni. MSC photo


Milford Group Helps
Mount St. Charles to Title
When Mount St. Charles raised its third state championship baseball trophy in the past seven years, there was more than a little Milford-area influence on the diamond. The Mounties swept Tolman High School of Pawtucket to win the best-of-three series and claim the Division II Rhode Island state title.
"We knew it was a special team coming into the season," head coach Tom Seaver, a Milford native, said. "The expectations were high and not winning the whole thing would have been a disappointment."
Mount St. Charles went 75 years without winning a state title before breaking through in 2009. The Mounties repeated in 2010 before winning it all again this spring. They went 15-3 in the regular season and posted a perfect 6-0 mark through the playoffs. In the final series, Seaver's team won a pair of 3-2 games, coming from behind to take the opener at McCoy Stadium.
"We won the first game in a walk-off and hung on to take the second one," Seaver said. "It was special for all the kids, especially getting to play where the Pawtucket Red Sox play."
Seaver had four Milford residents on his roster. Senior Kevin Valentine started at second base and anchored the pitching staff. The current member of Milford's American Legion team hit .344 in the regular season with 14 RBIs. He added a .333 average and three more driven in during the playoffs, and posted a 6-1 record on the mound.
Junior Eric Abruzzi hit leadoff and started in left field. He hit an eye-popping .473 in the postseason, including a 5-for-5 performance in the quarterfinal round that included an inside-the-park home run. "He's very fast and he was always a threat to steal for us," Seaver said of Abruzzi. "He did well in the regular season and in the playoffs he took his game to another level."
Junior John Montani hit .382 on the season and drove in seven runs in the playoffs. He and Abruzzi are spending the summer playing legion baseball for Franklin. Another Milford native, Jared Finnerty, is playing for Franklin's Junior Legion team after working out of the bullpen for the Mounties this spring.
In addition to the Milford contingent, Mount St. Charles' roster included sophomore Joe Sanchioni of Hopedale, who saw time in the infield and as the designated hitter. He batted .306 for the year with six doubles. Mendon's John Cutler went 5-2 with a save for the Mounties during his senior year and is another member of the Franklin Legion team. Another Mendon resident, senior Mike Dixon, batted .428 in the playoffs and had the game winning hit in the first game of the state final.
Seaver played his high school baseball at Milford's St. Mary's in the early 1970s and his family has an extensive coaching background. His brother, Paul "Wally" Seaver coached basketball in Milford and Franklin for decades before passing away after a battle with ALS in 2013. His nephew Paul, Wally's son, is the current varsity boys basketball coach at Milford High. Tom Seaver says his Milford charges are well aware of the town's baseball tradition and that was a great asset during the championship run.
"I grew up in Milford and baseball is like a religion," he said. "They recognize it's a great sport, and they always bring that passion to the game."




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