The Carroll baseball team has had its ups and downs this season, but with two stalwarts on the mound, the Dragons have once again had the opportunity to advance multiple rounds in the postseason.
Pitchers Kevin Cramer and Matt Canterino have been getting it done for Carroll since the beginning of the season, and coach Larry Hughes said their contributions cannot be underestimated.
“They've been two guys that we can count on all year,” Hughes said. “We know that when either of them is in there pitching that we've got a chance to win. They never give up too many runs. They are just very good pitchers.”
Hughes said he has also been impressed with the leadership that both young men have provided to the team throughout this season.
“Kevin, being a senior, he is a real strong competitor and a real good leader for us,” Hughes said. “Canterino does it with his play in the field.”
Hughes said that while Cramer and Canterino have been his number one and two starters respectively throughout much of the season, it took a while to get his top two pitchers in order.
“I don't think it was immediately,” Hughes said. “There were a couple of guys that we were looking at early on. But it did emerge after a few games.”
Cramer, who was 6-2 this season with a 0.75 ERA and 57 regular-season strikeouts, said he has been impressed with the way his team has been playing.
“I think that we are really starting to come together,” Cramer said. “We are pitching well, and now we are starting to hit well. So I think we are going to be great going forward.”
Cramer said that he thinks a couple of things make him and Canterino an effective one-two punch.
“I think that we both have the right mentality going out there,” Cramer said. “We both come in and throw strikes. We don’t walk a lot of people and we really attack our hitters.”
Canterino, who was 7-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 87 regular-season strikeouts, said work ethic also plays a big role in it.
“He’s got great location, but he doesn’t throw the hardest strikes,” Canterino said. “He’s really deceptive and it’s just, he knows what to do. He knows how to get people out. He’s been doing it the past three years for Carroll. I think that both of us just love to go out and compete. We know they work hard in practice, but we do, too. And we believe that if we work hard enough, we should be able to go out there and win.”
Hughes said that Cramer and Canterino are different in their approaches, but said that both young men are critical to the success Carroll has enjoyed.
“The way that they pitch, they rarely give up any runs,” Hughes said. “They are different kinds of pitchers. Canterino is more of a strikeout pitcher, while Cramer relies on control and spotting the ball and location. The guys know that when they are out on the mound, we’ve got a good chance to win, because they are not going to give up runs.”