Baseball exceeds expectations, eyes postseason success
By Riley Crowell
The Framingham State Rams currently hold an overall record of 23-12 and a MASCAC record of 13-5 heading into the final stretch of the season.
This season has been a story of progress, determination, and defying the odds for the Rams because they won more games than they did in the last two seasons combined.
Ram outfielder Shane Costello said, “We start every practice by doing 27 pushups and jumping jacks after our warm-ups to remember the 27 losses last year.”
This season marks the highest win total of Head Coach Sean Callahan’s coaching career at Framingham.
Callahan, who is also a former FSU player, said, “It means a lot. One more win, and we’re as successful as the best team I played on.”
Multiple Rams stepped up this season, many of whom have earned MASCAC weekly honors throughout the year.
Framingham’s relief pitcher, Anthony Panza, and starting pitcher, Vincent LoGuidice, both earned MASCAC Pitcher of the Week honors during the season.
Panza pitched 28.1 innings in 15 appearances, allowing only one earned run, striking out 33 batters, and only walking four.
LoGuidice holds a season earned run average (ERA) of 3.66, the second-lowest among the Rams’ starting pitchers.
He also has a record of 5-1, pitched two complete games, and struck out 32 batters in his 46.2 innings pitched.
The Rams’ outfielder, Ryan Boyle, earned the Player of the Week honor April 17.
Boyle currently leads the MASCAC in RBIs with 46, and sits in the top five in batting average (.388) and home runs (eight).
He leads Framingham in RBIs, walks, home runs, doubles, and total bases.
Boyle said, “It’s nice to see success because of the hard work I have put in, but my statistics don’t mean anything if the games don’t result in wins.”
Callahan said, “Everyone has really assimilated into thinking about team mentality first.
“It’s all about wins instead of individual stats,” he added.
Costello collected the most MASCAC honors for Framingham this year, earning Player of the Week once and Rookie of the Week twice.
He currently sits in the top five in batting average in the MASCAC at .372, an impressive feat for a freshman.
Although not a MASCAC award winner, one of the biggest contributors to the Rams’ offense is shortstop Steven Burbank, leading the team in batting average, hits, and triples.
Burbank ranks second in the MASCAC in batting average at .416, which is an astronomical improvement from last season, when he hit .225.
He said, “I was swinging too freely last year and chasing a lot of unhittable pitches.
“I worked hard to be short to the ball so I could focus on getting base hits and putting the ball in play,” Burbank added.
Picked to finish sixth in the 2023 MASCAC preseason poll, Framingham is currently in second place, trailing only defending MASCAC champion and preseason favorite Bridgewater State.
Boyle said, “We all believed that we could be better than a sixth-place team. An extra year for players to develop has helped us a lot.”
Heading into the final stretch of the season and MASCAC playoffs, the team is very confident they can make a deep run this year.
Callahan said, “As long as our players keep playing the way that they can, I think we will be able to.”
Costello said, “I have confidence in this team as long as we play together and stay within ourselves. When we play our game, the only people that can beat us are ourselves.”
Boyle said, “We have a ton of confidence right now. We know if we stay focused, we can get the job done.”
Framingham hosts Fitchburg State for a MASCAC matchup May 5 and ends the season at Fitchburg State for a doubleheader May 6.