EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 18, 2013

Should Central be feared?

Ignored everywhere else, red-hot Raiders rampaging through MVC

ANDOVER — Eight days remain in the high school baseball regular season, and one question looms over the Merrimack Valley Conference.

When the Division 1 North sectional tournament rolls around, should this monster be feared?

Central Catholic, as it has so many times this month, answered again with a resounding thud, pounding 12 hits and piling up the runs in an 8-3 victory, spoiling Andover High’s Senior Day at Aumais Field.

Ignored in all the state and regional polls, the Raiders moved to 13-5. Win Tuesday at home against this same Andover team, and the Raiders grab at least a share of the MVC large title.

But does anyone really believe in the Raiders? This is the same team that No. 1 St. John’s Prep toyed with back in mid-April, a team that once was 3-4 and had dropped back-to-back games vs. 4-13 Dracut and Bishop Fenwick.

“I think they should. We do,” said right-fielder Brady Abraham, who paced Central’s attack with three hits yesterday.

Like nearly everyone in the Central lineup — 1-to-6 anyway — Abraham has heated up at just the right time.

Following a midseason 1-for-15 skid, Abraham seemingly flipped a switch. The current 13-of-21 tear he’s on has the senior’s average up to .386.

He’s not alone. Bruising first baseman Nick Gorski opened the year in free-fall. A beast who hit .433 last season, Gorski opened the year at .063 or 1 for 16.

“For the first time, I didn’t worry about stats, and just tried to have fun with every at-bat,” said Gorski, an Eagle-Tribune Hockey All-Star. “Last year, it might have been about stats. This year, I just decided it was about winning an MVC championship, not a batting crown.”

One of the hottest hitters in the area now, we’s taken that .063 and pumped in a 15 for 31, with the average now at .340.

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