East Catholic Ready To Compete For State Championship

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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East Catholic Ready To Compete For State Championship

MANCHESTER, Ct. - A senior-heavy team that is expected to be solid defensively has East Catholic head coach Martin Fiori elated to be back on the field in 2021.

“I expect us to compete for a league championship and state championship,” the 10th-year head coach said.

A solid one-two punch on the mound could play a big part if that is to take place after a 2020 campaign that had high hopes before being cancelled due to covid.

“We had four graduating seniors all playing in college,” Fiori said in reference to Brandon Keeler (SCSU), CJ Moriarty (Elms College), Jaden Fowler (UCAP) and Logan Macaluso (Assumption). “We certainly missed out on their leadership and ability to compete. We had a strong junior class combined with the seniors which would have made it a fun spring.”

Those juniors are now seniors led by UConn commit Frankie Mozzicato and UMass-Boston commit Ryan Shaw. Mozzicato is the number one 2021 left-handed pitcher in New England and the 54th-ranked southpaw in the nation while Shaw is the 24th-rated senior third baseman in the area who is pencilled in at first or second base this spring.

TJ Winn, the 11th-ranked sophomore right-handed pitcher in New England, is being counted on to join Mozzicato at the top of the rotation for the Eagles.

Michael Wearne will play third and pitch while Hank Penders, one of three captains along with Mozzicato and Wearne, brings a solid catcher to the lineup. Wearne is a Saint Joseph’s College (Me) commit rated 21st in the senior class at third base while Penders is headed to Eastern Connecticut State.

Alex Irizarry, a Maryland recruit ranked fourth among 2022 shortstops in New England, and Sammy Neves, a WPI commit who will play corner infield, bring more promise to the lineup.

“Mozzicato is arguably one of the best arms around and Irizarry is arguably one of the best all around infielders-hitters,” Fiori noted. “We have a senior-heavy team which should prove to be valuable, especially during a covid season.”

The outfield play should also be formidable with a trio of college commits, Ryan St. Jean, Trevor Juan and Abel Collado. St. Jean, ranked 53rd, is headed to Western New England University and Juan, rated 67th, is going to Roger Williams, while Collado is an Avery Point commit.

“I’m not really sure on our depth right now and power may be an issue,” Fioro pointed out. “The unpredictability of covid is definitely another concern.”

Harry Roy and Dylan Roy bring potential underclassmen that could contribute, Harry as a right-handed pitcher and Dylan in the infield. Harry Roy is the 39th-rated 2023 RHP while Dylan Roy is a promising freshman who was part of the PBR Connecticut Future 50.

“If we can stay healthy and keep everyone in our lineup, we will be very competitive,” concluded Fioro, who is 124-56 in his time at the helm of East Catholic.

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