Worcester Academy (MA)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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To view the full list of 2023 Team Previews that we have already completed, please click here.

2023 Spring Team Preview: Worcester Academy

WORCESTER, Ma. - First-year head coach Mike Abraham gets right to the point when it comes to his main objective at Worcester Academy.

“Our goal is to win a championship,” related the 30-year-old mentor, who has been an assistant for three years at St. John’s Shrewsbury and two at Groton before coming over to replace Jim McNamara who stepped down after eight seasons.

The last league title at Worcester Academy came in 2017, but Abraham has confidence that another is coming soon.

“We had a very talented team last year and it’s primarily the same team this year minus a few with some nice additions,” Abraham explained. “The goals are higher up this year. The expectation to win is very evident.”

It starts on the mound with the trio of senior southpaws Max Marchetti, TJ Power and Huxley Holcombe. Marchetti is a Northeastern commit, Power is headed to Duke for basketball and Holcombe is a signee with Cornell.

“We have three very strong arms plus with the development of Mavrick Rizy, who to me is one of the best arms in New England, we have another,” Abraham pointed out about the 129th-rated junior right-handed pitcher in the country. “From a presence standpoint and from a stuff standpoint, he’s going to be tough for any hitter.”

Abraham is obviously excited about what he will see on the mound in 2023.

“Pitching is by far the thing that stands out about this team,” noted Abraham, who also returns Owen Roy, the 16th-ranked senior right-handed pitcher in Massachusetts who is committed to Northeastern. “We have five high-end arms. The great thing about them is they don’t care if they start or relieve. They are all very selfless. They can throw hard, but they also can pitch.”

While the pitching looks impressive, there is much more that makes the Hilltoppers considered one of the best teams in Massachusetts.

“We bring back almost our entire roster and we added Cole Carbone,” Abraham said of the top-rated senior catcher in New England, a Houston signee.

Cam Papetti, the eighth-ranked junior catcher in New England who is a Bryant commit, adds depth behind the plate while also having the ability to play third base.

“We have two high-level guys behind the dish that understand pitchers and know how to manage a game,” Abraham noted. “I don’t have to push them, they push themselves.”

Power will be the primary first baseman with Carbone and Holcombe providing depth.

James Anastasopoulo, who started last year at third base as a freshman, will move to second and can also play shortstop where senior Colin West, a Baldwin-Wallace signee, returns. 

Anastasopoulo, West and Papetti will share third.

The outfield is loaded as well with Jameson Hollins, an Assumption College commit, in center field, Central Connecticut state signee Gabe Pitts, the second-rated 2023 outfielder in New England in right, and Marc Ciampolillo, a Hobart recruit, in left. Holcombe and Liam Daly, the eighth-rated sophomore outfielder in New England who Abraham calls “a kid we can’t take out of the lineup,” also fit into the outfield plans.

“The work ethic is the biggest thing that stands out about these guys,” Abraham said. “The goal since I took over in the summer is to win a championship and it’s led by the senior class. We have no selfish players on this team, they only care about improving their game and know that nothing is given to them.

“We have a group that hangs out all the time and they all have the same goals. That is for us to win and to be successful at the next level.”

After finishing 14-8 a year ago and 5-6 in league play, Abraham believes the immediate future is bright.

“Baseball is a simple game,” Abraham concluded. “It comes down to doing the little things right, not compounding mistakes and finding a way to win when the pitching is not great or when you’re not hitting. If these guys do what they’re capable of doing, there’s not a more talented team in New England.”

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