SportzEdge.com

Milford natives playing college baseball

Brett Michael Doran plays for Stanford. (Stanford University Photo) Brett Michael Doran plays for Stanford. (Stanford University Photo)

Milford’s Jonathan Law High School won the 2008 Class L Baseball State Championship. While some players from the championship team have moved on, several have not left baseball.

Zach Soulier, who graduated Jonathan Law in 2010, is a junior pitcher at Stonehill College, a small school of 2,600 in Easton, Massachusetts, south of Boston. He and another Milford native, teammate Christian Baglini, a 2011 graduate of Notre Dame West Haven, play Division II ball for the Skyhawks of the Northeast-10 Conference. Baglini won the Class L Baseball State Championship at Notre Dame in 2011.

Two other 2010 Jonathan Law graduates have continued their baseball careers. Josh Rouse plays Soulier and Baglini annually with the Northeast-10’s Franklin Pierce Ravens of New Hampshire. Brett Michael Doran voyaged to the west coast to play Division I baseball at Stanford of the PAC-12.

Milford native Zach Soulier has had a terrific season for Stonehill College. (Courtesy: Stonehill Athletics)

Milford native Zach Soulier has had a terrific season for Stonehill College. (Courtesy: Stonehill Athletics)

The Skyhawks (23-22, 11-16 NE-10) finished just average, losing their last game of the season on Sunday, 9-1 to Merrimack, but Soulier and Baglini had a season to be proud of.

Soulier started 11 games for Stonehill this year, finishing with a 5-3 record. The lefty posted the team’s third-best ERA this season, 2.87, over 75 innings pitched. In those 75 innings Soulier compiled an impressive strikeout to walk ratio. He struck out 54 batters over the course of the season, averaging over six Ks per game, while walking only 17. That’s over 3 strikeouts per every walk.

Success is not new to Soulier. His freshman season saw him make the Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team. That year Soulier pitched 44 innings over 11 games with an impressive 2.22 ERA. Opponents only hit .268 off the southpaw that season. Like this season, Soulier had the Skyhawks third-best ERA in his sophomore season, 3.24.

Baglini appeared in 30 of the Skyhawks’ 45 games this year. The sophomore had the team’s fourth-best batting average, hitting .263 with 11 RBIs. Baglini recorded 25 hits in 95 at-bats, including five doubles and two triples. The utility man was solid in the field and pitched in two games for Stonehill this season. He allowed four hits in three innings of work. Baglini also had two strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA.

The Skyhawks faced Rouse and the Ravens in a three-game series this season, with the Ravens picking up the sweep. Soulier pitched in the series’ second-game, allowing five runs in five innings in the Skyhawks’ 8-4 loss. However, he did not face Rouse, who was not in the lineup.

Jonathan Law grad Josh Rouse now plays for Franklin Pierce. (Photo: Franklin Pierce Athletics)

Jonathan Law grad Josh Rouse now plays for Franklin Pierce. (Photo: Franklin Pierce Athletics)

Rouse, an infielder, hasn’t had the college career one would hope for. He played in only 10 games this season with a .091 batting average in 11 at-bats. His college career started out on a better note though. Rouse appeared in 33 games as a freshman, starting 23, but hit only .182. Things took a turn for the worse when Rouse missed his entire sophomore year due to injury; they have not recovered since.

Doran hasn’t played up to his potential out in California either. In his junior season at Law, Doran batted an outstanding .532, but he hasn’t been given much of a chance by the Cardinal. This season Doran played in 20 games so far, starting just four. His performance at the plate hasn’t helped him earn more playing time. The infielder/outfielder has only had 26 at-bats so far this season with two hits, one of which was a home run. That leaves Doran only batting .077.

Part of Doran’s problem is that the starting second-baseman, his high school position, is only one year ahead of him. Doran got a chance to play more in his sophomore season when the starter went down with an injury, allowing Doran 16 starts at second. Overall Doran appeared in 31 games that season, recording a .242 batting average with nine RBIs.

Next season, Soulier will be the only senior pitcher on the Skyhawks roster. Coach Patrick Boen will be looking for Soulier to step up and lead the team.

Baglini could see an improved role with the Skyhawks next year. If he can continue hitting well, expect to see him play in more games.

Rouse and Doran could get more playing time too, especially Doran, with Stanford’s current second-baseman leaving. Doran has a chance to play more this season as well. The Cardinal’s regular season continues until May 26.