EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 23, 2013

Versatile pitcher

Ex-Sachem basketball star McNamara excels as starter, closer in same year

When it comes to being flexible as a pitcher, Alfredo Aceves has nothing on former Pentucket standout Corey McNamara.

As a freshman at St. Joseph’s College this past spring, McNamara was — with a wealth of starting pitchers — moved to the bullpen to become the team’s closer.

McNamara had never been used in that role, but he adjusted beautifully. He pitched in a team-high 17 games for the Monks (31-14 and league champions) and had a fine 2.76 ERA. He had three saves and batters hit just .200 against him.

After the season, St. Joseph’s coach Will Sanborn pondered moving McNamara back to a starter next year, so when Newburyport Legion Post 150 needed a starter, he was up for the challenge.

Switching back to multiple innings at a time took a few weeks but, to say the least, McNamara made a smooth adjustment, so much so that he’s been one of the best pitchers in District 8.

Through last week, he had given up just two earned runs all summer, for an ERA of 0.47, with 22 strikeouts in 30 innings.

“He’s been a great addition to the staff this year,” said Post 150 coach Tim Southall. “He worked very hard to turn himself (back) into a starter. He’s a great kid who loves to compete.”

In one memorable three-game stretch, he beat Danvers 1-0, threw nine innings in a scoreless tie with Lynn and followed with a 2-0 shutout of Lawrence, giving him 23 scoreless innings.

“I’ve just been throwing good pitches, mixing it up ... plus, we’ve been getting good defense,” he said.

Moving back to a starter was no problem, but the switch in the spring to closer took some getting used to.

“It was different and it took awhile to adjust,” said McNamara. “But they have a good strength program (at St. Joseph’s) that helped a lot. By the end of the year, my arm felt good. It felt like it did at the beginning.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam SNC Minute: Phils lose; Lee set to return Eagles less than a week away from training camp Could Cliff Lee's health affect trade value? McCarthy and Stairs break down the Phillies' loss 105-year-old woman throws first pitch McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th Astros, Aiken fail to reach deal
Boston Sports
Shaughnessy: Dont count out the Sox just yet Blakely: Projecting the Celtics roster Daopolous: How will NFL cracking down on Defensive holding affect games? Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam Curran: Did the Patriots make a mistake by drafting Garoppolo? McAdam: Yankees pitching troubles bad news for Sox negotiations with Lester Curran: Will Pats struggle to find an identity on offense this season? Perry: Lester impressive again in Sox 6-0 win over the Royals