Millis Baseball, the Season that Almost Was

Christopher Tremblay. Staff Sports Writer
Millis Baseball was hoping to turn things around this year after a rough patch last year, but Covid-19 brought the 2020 season to an end.
Issue Date: 
May, 2020
Article Body: 

Last spring, the Millis baseball team was only able to muster two victories, while losing seven games by a single run, including three walk-offs by their opponents. And although it weas a frustrating year for the Mohawks and Coach Mike Carter, the majority of the players were returning to the diamond this year; or at least they were supposed to.
“The team was psyched about coming back this year to show that not only was last year a fluke, but what they could actually accomplish this spring,” Carter said. “Together, this year’s squad would have been the best team that I have ever coached.”
Millis would have only had three seniors on this year’s roster, but the trio was looking forward to the season and turning around last year’s luckless season. Playing in what would have been their final year at Millis would have been captain Thomas Hill, who had surgery last fall and was slated to be a workhorse for the Mohawks; pitcher/ outfielder JD Hart and TJ Hourigan. Hourigan was the team’s first baseman who happened to be injured and the only time he got to play last year was as a pinch runner in the tournament.
While the entire team prepared for the start of the season, the Coronavirus pandemic hit and the season was put on hold for the time being. Only three days before things were supposed to get underway, the MIAA announced the suspension of all spring sports.
“It was frustrating to hear that the season was going to be suspended for the time being,” the Millis Coach said. “The kids took it in stride, as they knew it was for the best. They continued to work hard, so that they were ready when the time came; at that point, we were all still hopeful.”
Despite not being able to work out in gyms or with the rest of their teammates, the Millis baseball players continued to find ways to work on their skills so they’d be ready to go when the season eventually happened. Unfortunately, when Governor Charlie Baker made his announcement that the rest of the school year would be completed at home, everyone knew that there would no longer be a season.
The cancelling of the season left a sour taste in the mouths of the seniors as the last time that they walked off the field it was due to a loss in the Division 4 South Tournament; a 6-5 loss to Bourne in 11 innings.
“I have been playing baseball my whole life, and this will be the first spring without it. You wait forever to get to your senior year, and to not have baseball is disappointing, especially after working so hard during the off-season,” Hill said. “We were looking forward to such a great season, and now all we have is our loss last year to Bourne in the playoffs as our final high school game. We really were looking forward to avenging that loss. It’s tough.”
Thomas is hoping that he will get to play club baseball at the University of Rhode Island next year, but he’ll still have the remembrance of an 11-inning loss in the playoffs as his final game for Millis.
Although Hill got to play his junior campaign, Hourigan watched from the bench with a broken thumb.
“Having not played last year, I was looking heavily toward this season, but the Corona was a bummer. My memories of my final season will be sitting on the bench,” Hourigan said. “I had worked really hard to get ready for this season. A lot of us started hitting in January since we didn’t have that much snow, and we were really psyched about this year. Then the Corona struck, and we were hit with a forever blizzard.”
Not only was Hourigan going to see action at first base but he was hoping to get involved in the rotation a little more this season. He also believed that the younger talent was going to rise to the occasion this year, and the Mohawks were going to have an unforgettable year. Years down the road, Millis will look back and see that 2020 was a year to remember, but just not in the way they had hoped.
Much like his fellow seniors, Hart was expecting Millis to make a run into the playoffs this year, and with the Tri-Valley League up in the air thought they may be able to grab a league championship as well.
“This was going to be the year. As a senior I believe that you are at the top of your game and your body is at it’s peak. I continued to work during the suspension by lifting weights and throwing the ball around with my brothers,” Hart said. “It’s a shame that we couldn’t get back on the field. It’s disappointing to work so hard and look forward to your last year of high school baseball only to have it cancelled.”
In addition to the three seniors losing out on their final baseball season with Millis, the Mohawks also have a handful of juniors in Charlie Korsak, Brian Nichols and Michael Govoni, who may have the opportunity to go onto play baseball on the collegiate level.
Korsak, the team’s shortstop who has been clocked at 90 mph, is looking at Division 3 schools but Carter believes that he has the capabilities to play Division 2 ball. Carter was looking to move Nichols, Millis’s second best pitcher last year who was inserted into a lot of high pressure situations, out of the infield and into the outfield so that he could use him more on the mound this spring. Govoni, played catcher last year for the first time and picked up the position rather quickly and would have been a huge asset behind the plate this season.
“With everything lost, I’m expecting colleges to be lenient and open to seeing kids to see what they have since they missed out watching them play this season, Carter said. “This really was a special group of guys that truly loved the sport of baseball. It would have been interesting to see what they actually could have accomplished this year.”
Hopefully before the summer comes to an end the athletes get to take to the field one last time in some sort of a mini tournament, but that will all depend on the epidemic at hand and the MIAA’s decision to do something.
“It would be nice to see them play one last time as a high school team,” the Millis coach said.