North baseball team has their eyes on state title
When asked about the possibility of winning the Division I baseball state title, North Kingstown High School Head Coach Kevin Gormley plays it cool. "I would say it is a possibility. We have always had strong teams here. I have been here for the last 12 years and we have made it to the finals four times. We have not made it over the hump yet. We compete for the state title every year but we have just not been fortunate enough to get it done yet," he said.
After winning the Division ISouth regular season title last year, North went 20-5 and lost in the regional finals to Cranston West. Hendricken captured the state title. It has been 42 years since North has won a state title in baseball.
After only seven games into this season, the scores have been high and the Skippers are 7-0. "We have had a nice start. Usually the games are not as one sided, so we have been very fortunate. Our pitching has been very good and we have not been making any errors. We have not walked many people and have been able to take advantage of others mistakes," Gormley said. In their division this season, Gormley said that South is one of the strongest teams. "We had a really good battle with them in the first league game of the year and won 4-1."
In addition to the southern division, North plays crossover games against the Eastern Division teams. "Moses Brown, Portsmouth and Middletown are off to a good start. East Greenwich is always a well coached team and Narragansett is very strong," Gormley said.
North's roster includes seniors Dave D'Errico and Cody Normand, who received All-State honors last year and are two of the best pitchers in the state in addition to being outstanding hitters according to Gormley. Seniors Jamale Horn in the outfield, Connor Walsh, Nick Savickas and islander Ryan Morris at shortstop round out the veteran infield.
"Ryan is in his second year as a captain, which speaks volumes. In my 12 years here I have only named four juniors as captains. He is a special kid, and I think he is a tremendous baseball talent because of his character. I am fortunate to have him in my honors business class and what I see in the field I see in the classroom. He is very consistent and has a good work ethic. Right now he is number two in the line up and at shortstop things are going very well for him. He is an important asset for our team and for our program more importantly," Gormley said.
Islander and senior Nate Vigneault is another strong member of the team. "Nate really helps out in the outfield and he is probably the fastest guy on the team. He leads by example on and off the field and he is one of the top 10 academically in the senior class. He is a great outfielder and the designated hitter," Gormley said.
Most of the players on the team have been playing since they were freshmen and some started playing together in little league. "They are a special bunch of guys and they really enjoy each other's company. They carry the torch and hold the program in high regard and want to keep the program at the elite level it was at when they came in," Gormley said.
As one of the leading contenders for the Division I state title, the Skippers can't help but think of the post-season, but for now Gormley said he is just going to enjoy the success of his program and his players. "It is a lot of fun to show up and coach these guys every day."