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The Yankee Express

Craig Gajewski Takes Over the Baseball Reins at Bay Path

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

For the past six seasons, Craig Gajewski was the junior varsity head baseball coach at Bay Path. This season he has taken over the reins of the varsity squad and is hoping that he can continue the program’s success. At the time of this writing, the Minutemen were 8-6; were ranked 21st in Division 2, fourth in Central Mass                   and fourth in Vocational schools. 
 “Coming into this year my goal was get the team to qualify for the states, win our league (the Colonial), get to the District and Vocational Tournament,” the first-year varsity coach said. “Over the last 25 years, the previous coach had 300 plus wins, won the Vocational Title last year and finished fifth in the Division 2 State Tournament.”
Gajewski went on to say that the Minutemen baseball program has had a relatively strong team over the past 5 or 6 seasons, but as they opened up the 2024 campaign they were without four starters from last year’s team. Bay Path not only graduated 2 pitchers, but their catcher and right fielder; some pretty big holes to fill this spring. Midway through the season, the pitching has been getting to the point the new coach has been looking for, the outfield has gotten better with each game, and the catching position, which was the team’s biggest issue has been getting with two seniors rotating.
On the mound the Minutemen have junior Dale Nussey as the team’s number one hurler and junior Jake Delvalle as the number two. Nussey is currently 3-2 with a 1.47 ERA and Delvalle has had a rough start going 1-4 posting a 4.69 ERA. According to the Coach, he has unfortunately been dealt all the tougher teams. Senior Nolan Libby has put up stellar performances going 4-0 thus far. 
 “Dale has been pitching since his freshman year and has been the team’s number three and four pitcher over that time frame and was the more proven pitcher so he rolled into that number one spot this year,” Gajewski said. “Dale and Jake are similar types of pitchers that both throw hard and have good curves, but Dale is quicker and uses his curveball more.”
While Devalle and Nussey have been providing the top of the rotation pitching for the staff, Libby has shown a different side of his game this season. Getting his first year on the varsity roster last spring he didn’t get the ball all that much with the talent that was ahead of him. This year he seems to be making the most of his chances.
“He was on the junior varsity team for his freshman and sophomore year and although on the varsity team last year, he really didn’t get a chance to pitch,” the coach said. “This year he has been a pleasant surprise and has gotten better with each game. He has been relying on his curve ball a lot and in addition to his 4-0 start he has a 1.34 ERA with 40 strikeouts.”
The Bay Path skipper noted that in order to accomplish the goals they set out to achieve, the pitching staff is going to be key and will need to keep the team in the games, while the defense goes out and plays error free and the offensive gets that timely hitting. Bay Path is currently not hitting the ball and only batting .280, which is not all that good for a high school baseball team. However, the coach said things are starting to turn around at the plate.
Hitting the cover off the ball is junior left fielder Hunter Davis who is batting at a .458 clip, while Nussey, who plays shortstop when he’s not on the hill, is batting .423. Juniors Josh Hemmingway (right field / DH) and Kaiden Brochu (third and first base) are currently hitting .364 and .370 respectively. 
Bay Path’s previous catcher Dylan MacDonald, had a great arm, was very good defensively and was able to call the game respectively. His departure left the team with a rather large hole. Seniors Wyatt Daoust and Logan Powers have been sharing the catching duties behind the plate for the Minutemen through the midway point of the season. Daoust has a stronger arm and has been a pleasant surprise as to how fast he slings the ball down to second.
As the duo continues to hold down the position Gajewski knows it’s going to be a completely different story come next season.
 “Next year we are going to have to find a new catcher,” he said. “Currently, we have a couple of juniors who are being groomed to fill the position, but after that (season) we’ll be back to square one with nothing and will have to start all over again.”
Filling in the vacancies with success thus far this year, the Minutemen are still on course to achieve all of their goals and once in the state Tournament anything can happen.