Hiller Baseball 2018: Team Preview

Owen Delaney

It was in extra innings when the Hopkinton Hillers baseball team fell to Greater New Bedford last spring in the state sectional semi-finals. Greater New Bedford would go on to win the state finals, leaving the returning Hillers waiting for the new season.

“The loss last year was devastating,” senior captain Tom Leone said. “We knew the winner of that game would have a good shot to win it all, so it really took a toll on us.”

It’s been nine months since the season came to an end, but the hard work did not end there.

Photo: Sisitsky holding his first home run ball
Photo by Owen Delaney
Sisitsky holding his first home run ball.

“Work in the offseason is what determines a season. So, even though we were upset, it fueled us to work even harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Leone said.

Leone will play alongside seven returning seniors. “The amount of leadership and experience we have this year is important, we all know what works and what doesn’t.”

Among those returning are Timmy Burdick, Zack Sisitsky, Dawson McMillan, Anthony Farina, Dylan O’Leary, and Connor Hebert. Along with these seniors are some notable juniors, Stephen Simoes, Ben McKenzie, and Brendan Kelly.

McKenzie’s .402 batting average and Simoes’ hitting .344 last season should lead the way in hitting this season.

In the field, third baseman O’Leary recorded a .915 fielding percentage, combining with .877 for shortstop McMillan last year should help the Hillers in the field.

On the mound Leone, Burdick, Kelly, and Sisitsky are all expected to pitch substantial innings.

The Hillers first game of the year is April 4th against Bridgewater Raynham.

“That date has been circled on the calendar for awhile. We cannot wait to put this promising team to test,” senior captain Zack Sisitsky said.

Photo: Snowy Baseball Field will soon be used for action
Photo by Owen Delaney
The snowy baseball field will soon see action.

Bridgewater Raynham is coming off a winning season and plays a division above the Hillers.

“It certainly will be a tough game. It’s always good to get hard out of league games, it gets you ready for the post-season,” Sisitsky added.

The Hillers first in league action will take place two days later against Bellingham. The Hillers will contend for the TVL title, after coming just shy last year to Norton.

Although a TVL title would be an accomplishment, it is not their main goal.

“Our biggest goals will take place once the regular season is over. We want to win a state championship. Don’t get me wrong, the TVL is important to us, but we won’t be content with only winning the TV,” said Tim Burdick.

Tryouts were March 19th with the start of season beginning soon thereafter.