2024 Upper Valley high school baseball guide

Windsor High baseball players, including Alden Weld (4), Joey Gaudette (8), Travis McAllister (14), Maison Fortin (6) and Hayden Pascarelli (7), watch a tense moment during their 1-0 loss to White River Valley in the Vermont Division III quarterfinals on June 6, 2023, in South Royalton, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Windsor High baseball players, including Alden Weld (4), Joey Gaudette (8), Travis McAllister (14), Maison Fortin (6) and Hayden Pascarelli (7), watch a tense moment during their 1-0 loss to White River Valley in the Vermont Division III quarterfinals on June 6, 2023, in South Royalton, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley news file photograph — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Zach Aldrich, left, and Hanover's JoJo Drent, seen during the teams' May 24, 2024, game at Dartmouth College's Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, figure to each be impact players this spring. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Zach Aldrich, left, and Hanover's JoJo Drent, seen during the teams' May 24, 2024, game at Dartmouth College's Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, figure to each be impact players this spring. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Josh Hough

Josh Hough

Will Knowles

Will Knowles

Matt Cooney

Matt Cooney

Staff report

Published: 04-15-2024 4:21 PM

Modified: 04-17-2024 4:07 PM


The arrival of the Upper Valley high school baseball season marks the return of one top-shelf rivalry (Thetford vs. White River Valley, last year’s VPA Division III title-game matchup) along with another roster (Hanover) good enough to hang some hardware in NHIAA Division II later this spring.

Here’s a peek at the area’s rosters:

HANOVER

Coach: John Grainger (ninth season).

Last year: 14-3, lost in quarterfinals.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Jackson McBride (IF), Sam Loescher (IF), Jake Toulmin (P, IF, OF), Freddie Mierke (P, OF); Juniors — Sean Nam (OF), Finn Ware (IF); Sophomores — Alex Boone (P, OF), Wyatt Daigle (OF, P), Allie Miurhead (P, IF), Hayden Avard (C), Jojo Drent (IF, OF).

Newcomers: Juniors — Will Hopkins (OF), Wyn Casey (OF). Sophomores — Jack Lobb (IF), Henry Anderson (IF).

Outlook: Top-seeded Hanover was upset by eighth-seeded Plymouth in last season’s playoff quarterfinals but is 40-8 the last three seasons and retains hope of winning the program’s first state title this spring. Grainger touts shortstop McBride and college prospects Mierke and Boone on the mound, where the Bears held foes to a .221 batting average last spring. Graduation claimed Sam Sacerdote, now playing at Maine’s Bowdoin College, and starting infielder Oliver Sperry moved on to prep school, a likely destination for McBride in the fall.

HARTFORD

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Coach: Bill Vielleux (third season).

Last year: 10-6, lost in quarterfinal.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Zach Johnson (P, IF, OF), Nate Clark (CF, P) Sean Dunton (C), Cam Bradford (SS), Matt Cooney (P, DH), Matt Franklin (LF), Christian Hathorn (2B); Junior — Solly Flores (RF, P).

Newcomers: Juniors — Kyle Spaulding (3B), Jack Grigsby (C); Freshman — Wyatt Chambers (1B, P).

Outlook: Hartford is 19-15 under Vielleux and is looking to build on a solid season last year when it lost in the playoff quarterfinals to eventual champion Peoples Academy. “We are deep on the mound, which should benefit us during the first half of the season, when we play eight games in 18 days,” Vielleux said. “We have a couple of positions with new people in them, but they are looking solid and should fit in nicely, bolstering an already solid defense.”

LEBANON

Coach: Chauncey Wood (fourth season).

Last year: 8-9, lost in first round.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Zach Aldrich (OF, SS, P), Bennett Hewett (P, IF), Ben Achmoody (P, OF), Nick Brill (OF, P), Spencer Cunningham (1B, 3B), Jack Clary (OF, C); Juniors — George Tafe (IF, P), Dominic Calandrella (IF, P), Declan Brandis (P, IF). Sophomore — Ryan Lundrigan (3B, C).

Newcomers: Seniors — Talan Patkul (OF), Finley MacMartin (OF); Juniors — Reed Ferland (C, 1B), Tyler Kelly (2B, OF); Sophomores — William Healey (P, IF, OF), Benjamin Benes (P, IF, OF); Freshman — Cole Ripley (P, C, 3B).

Outlook: The Raiders, 23-27 under Wood, were left with an underachieving feeling after last season and have since graduated three starters. Lebanon last reached the division finals in 2012 and last won a title in 1986, frustrating history in what’s always been a baseball town. This year’s team is unquestionably fast, should play good defense and could feature capable pitching. Can the Raiders hit well enough, however, to produce their first winning season since 2021 and be more than two games over .500 for the first time in a decade?

MASCOMA

Coach: Britt Lewis (second season).

Last year: 3-13, missed tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Cayden Marquay (P, IF), TJ Mardin (C, OF); Juniors — Garreth Brown (OF), Hunter Dvorak (IF, OF), Brody Goulette (P, IF), Kaden Jatczak (P, OF), Ethan Lewis (C), Andrew Prince (P, OF), Peyton Sargent (P, IF), Jack St. Pierre (P, IF), Michael Stevens-Aranda (IF, OF), Marshall Yorke (IF); Sophomore — Mason Ballard (P, IF), Justin Fletcher (C, OF), Ryan Morse (IF, OF), Jacob Reyno (P, IF, OF), Paxton Roberts (OF), Samuel Wilson (IF, OF).

Newcomers: Seniors — James Thomas (OF), Connor Hobbs (OF); Sophomores — Dylan Cannon (IF, OF), Landon Ramirez (P, IF, OF); Freshmen — Malachy Bates (OF), Lincoln Butterfield (IF, OF), Caleb Rostron (IF, OF).

Outlook: “We have a lot or returning athletes from last year and a lot of young talent that joined the team this year.” Lewis said, “We have a committed coaching staff, supportive administration and a team of dedicated athletes. We are going to be competitive and continue to improve throughout the season.”

NEWPORT

Coach: Matthew Robbins (second season).

Last year: 1-15, missed tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Colton Godwin (P, C); Juniors — Kam Pollari (P, IF), Amilio Urista (OF), Owen Leavitt (2B); Sophomores — Adrian Sanchez (CF), Kobie Curtis (P, IF), Devan Robbins (P, OF).

Newcomers: Junior — Noah Fryman; Freshmen — Cameron Nerenburg, Andrew Benoit, Carson Almstrom.

Outlook: “If we can put everything together and work as a team, I have faith that these boys can be competitive,” Robbins said. “We struggled at the plate last year. Defensively, we are pretty solid.”

OXBOW

Coach: Shawn French (26th season).

Last year: 2-15, lost in first round.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Senior — Reece Ilsley (IF, OF, P); Juniors — Alex Daigle (IF, P), Chase Fischer (IF, P), Owen Taylor (OF, C), Garrett Danforth (IF, P), Ethan Davis (IF, P); Sophomores — John Smith (IF, P, C), Griffin Pike (IF, P), Ayden Hayley (OF), Keyes DeGoosh (OF).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Mike Danforth (IF, P), Preston Burroughs (IF).

Outlook: The Olympians, 3-29 the last two years, feature only one senior for a second consecutive season. “We’re hoping to have some of the younger players step up and improve on last year,” French said.

RIVENDELL

Coach: Eric Reichert (30th season).

Last year: 8-9, lost in quarterfinals.

League: VP Division IV.

Returnees: Seniors — Luke Avery (OF, 3B, P), Parker Piper (SS, C, P), Robert McNelly (2B, OF, P), Carter Bacon (OF, P); Juniors — Christian Ditcheos (1B, OF, P), Will Knowles (SS, P), Braydan Larson (OF, 3B, 1B, P); Sophomore — Ragan Pellegrino (OF, C, P).

Newcomers: Senior — Mason Fahey (1B, C, P); Junior — Cillian Kenneally (3B, SS, P); Freshman — Wyatt Parker (C, 2B, P); Eighth grade — Bryson Morgan (P, SS, 2B), Bryson Gilman (OF).

Outlook: The Raptors lost in the playoffs’ second round last season and graduated four seniors. “This group is all in on even the most fundamental practice drills,” Reichert said. “I have never had more depth at the catching position, which makes an old coach very happy. Will Knowles and Parker Piper will anchor the pitching staff.”

STEVENS

Coach: Bill Bundy (third season).

Last year: 10-7, lost in first round.

League: NHIAA Divison III.

Returnees: Seniors — Cody Pellerin (1B ,P), John Ward (OF); Juniors — Matt Goss (P, SS), Devyn Corliss (OF, P), Maddox Foster (OF), Nevin Marsh (C), Hunter Watson (IF), Ben Godell (1B, P); Sophomores — Logan Minckler (P, SS), Eric Emanouil (IF, OF), Oliver Beeman (IF), James Stevens (OF, C).

Newcomer: Freshman — Jaxon Churchill (OF).

Outlook: Goodell is back after missing last year with an injury, and James Stevens returns to action after suffering a head injury that caused him to miss hockey season. The Cardinals, who lost six seniors to graduation after last season, are 17-17 under Bundy. “Most of this group has played together since Little League, so we have a solid core,” the coach said. “Our defense will keep us in games. We just need to throw strikes and put a lot of balls in play (offensively).”

THETFORD

Coach: Phil Chaput (14th season).

Last year: 14-6, won state championship.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Senior — Justin Robinson (IF, P); Juniors — Dempsey McGovern (OF, P, C), Evan Patterson (OF), J.D. Farrell (P, IF); Sophomores — Xander Oshoniyi (IF, P), Owen Goodrich (IF, P), Tommy Amber (IF, P), Liam Brooks (OF, P), Sam Parkman (IF, P), Andrew Spooner (C).

Newcomers: Junior — Gavin Chambers (OF); Freshmen — Matthew McGovern (IF, P, OF) Oliver Sarazin (P, OF, IF).

Outlook: “We are returning a core group from last year’s state championship team, and we have high expectations,” Chaput said. “The three newcomers will add depth at key positions. Dedication, hard work and togetherness are key components of our clubhouse.”

WHITE RIVER VALLEY

Coach: Devin Cilley (sixth season).

Last year: 14-6, lost in state final.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Finn Bailey (OF), Carter Colson (OF, P) Joey Ferris (IF, OF, P); Juniors — Wyatt Cadwell (IF, P), Zander Clark (IF, P, OF), Donavan Craven (IF, P), Holden Rediker (OF, P), Brayden Russ (C), William Snelling (OF, C); Sophomores — Jacob Benoit (IF, P), Ty Couture (IF, OF, P), Andrew Vanesse (1B), Issac Wimett (OF, P).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Jayden Armstrong (OF, C), Leland French-Dyer (OF, P), Issac Kinsley (OF).

Outlook: WRV will be tested early and often with a more challenging schedule then they have had in recent years. Pitching, catching and defense will be their strengths. Eight starters return from last year’s state runner-up team. “This will be a fun team to watch,” Cilley said.

WINDSOR

Coach: Jamie Richardson (10th season).

Last year: 3-14, lost in quarterfinals.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Lee Bevis (P, IF), Tanner Moody (C, IF), Trevor Lagrow (P, OF), Nate Griffin (P, OF); Junior — Hayden Pascarelli (P, IF, OF). Sophomores — Alden Weld (P, IF), Isaac Becker (P, IF).

Newcomers: Juniors — Gavin Martin (P, OF), Mike Lopez (P, IF), Joey Gaudette (P, C, OF); Sophomores — Morgan Johnson (P, OF), Tristen Merrill (P, IF).

Outlook: The Yellowjackets’ regular-season record annually takes a hit because it plays a tougher schedule than their school size warrants. That showed last spring when they nearly upset White River Valley on the road in the playoff quarterfinals. “We have good senior leadership and seven returning players who are capable of playing at a high level,” Richardson said. “This team could surprise some folks come June.”

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Jason Tarleton (25th season).

Last year: 7-9, lost in first round.

League: VPA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Josh Hough (C), Jacob Stone (1B), Keller Pauly (CF); Juniors — Vince Petrone (SS, P), Ben Runstein (2B, P); Sophomores — Aksel Oates (SS, P), Riley O’Neal (2B, P, OF).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Ray Petrone (C, IF, OF), Jake Blackburn (IF, OF), Andrew Gallagher (P, IF, OF).

Outlook: “We have a strong pitching staff and kids that can make things happen at the plate and on the basepaths,” said Tarleton, whose team exited in the first round of last year’s playoffs.